Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reader Survey Results

So in case you missed it, I posted a survey last week asking my readers their thoughts and opinions on my blog. I was looking forward to seeing the responses and yes, I geeked out every time I got a new response.

How long have you been reading my blog?
4-5 years 21%

2-3 years 46%
1 year or less 21%

This is my first visit! 4%

I was expecting this number. It's only in the past few years that I've really become more involved with the book blogging community outside of the Christian fiction blogosphere.

Where are you from?
US 88%

Canada 4%
Europe 4%
Asia 0%

Australia 4%
Other 0%

Again not surprising. But I am glad for my foreign readers!

How are you reading my blog?

Came straight to website 4%

Through RSS Feed (ie. Google Reader) 50%

Through Email 8%

Link on Twitter, Facebook, GetGlue or other social media network 7 29%

I have no idea how I got here 0%

The majority of readers read the blog through RSS feed which is something I do with other blogs, hence I never actually visit a blog unless I am commenting. This will explain why actual visits to the blog might be low on stats but they make up in terms of subscribers. Links on social media sites are the next biggest tally meaning I should probably most more links on them.

How old are you?

Below 18 0%
18-29 29%

30-40 42%

40+ 29%

Prefer not to answer 0%

Again what I was expecting.

How would you describe yourself?

Reader 100%

Blogger 75%

Author 4%
Librarian 13%
Teacher 17%

Industry Professional 13%
People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.

As the numbers show, I need to realize that I am not blogging for other bloggers. I think that's my biggest fault, the fact that I get anxious when I hear that other bloggers just hit read all in their google reader and not read my posts. I even got a bit depressed when I realized that many of the bloggers I follow on Twitter were not reading my posts (or even my tweets it seems) asking about the survey. But I need to overcome that. Why? Because readers who WANT to read my blog are coming here. People who WANT to learn about the books I read are coming here. Get that in your mind, Deborah!

Do you Read Christian Fiction?

Yes 79%

No 8%

Sometimes 13%

Considering the number of Christian fiction books I do read/review, this isn't surprising.

Do you read general market fiction?

Yes 79%
No 4%

Sometimes 17%

This actually surprised me. I am surprised at the numbers of people who do read BOTH markets. I was under the misled impression that many readers of Christian fiction won't touch general market books with a ten foot pole. So I'm pleasantly surprised that my readers ARE interested in books from both markets.

I asked several open ended questions as well. Here is a sample of some of the answers:

If you don't read Christian fiction, why not?

- Previous experiences with Christian fiction turned me off to the genre entirely.
- Not a Christian!

If you don't read general market fiction, why not?

-Strong language, overly sexual, etc.

-I tend to only read general market fiction on the bestseller list. There are just so many books out there and I like to stick to GM books that I can discuss with a lot of people who have read them too.
-I occasionally read gen market, but I prefer not to read foul language and love scenes.

If you read both, why?
-I'm happy to read whatever I enjoy and take up books based on their individual merits after reading descriptions / recommendations. I don't really care where they come from, what genre they are, or whether they are considered Christian or not.
-I *have* to have both, a good mixture.
-A good story transcends labels.

-I love the faith perspective of CF, but I also like to know what's going on outside of evangelical culture--what the average American is interested in--and reading from the bestseller list is a great way to do that.

Then I also asked what readers would like to see more on my blog:

-Maybe more movie reviews?
-Respond to comments.
-More posts about book blogging, like the one you did on how Jesus would enter a giveaway. Also posts like the ones you did for Faith n Fiction Saturdays where you talk about different trends/issues in Christian fiction.

-Maybe more info on your life. Book reviews are always nice, but I like reading funny or interesting stories that happen in a blogger's life (or even just the mundane events).
-Your editorials! Love them from time to time :)
-I like hearing your thoughts on the industry. Blogging advice?
-I always enjoy your posts about your library finds. I've read several of the books now. :)

-I'm not sure if you do this or not, but I would like to at a glance know if the book is Christian fiction, YA or whatever. That would determine if I read the review more closely or not.

And less of on the blog?
- Amish fiction. Not that there's anything wrong with liking a genre (I LOVE Regency category romances myself, talk about predictable!) but it seems that these books are the same thing dressed in different clothes.
-Author interviews and reviews of historical romances. (Deborah: Ok this confused me because I don't do many author interviews in the first place, maybe 2 a year at the absolute most.)

Sooooooo, I've been thinking about this and taken into consideration these suggestions and I've come up with several new things I will do on the blog.

1) Regarding movie reviews: I only review movies I've seen in theaters. Due to less funds and also a lack of movies I am dying to see in theaters, reviews on those have trickled down. I really do need to review Harry Potter DHII. It's becoming less vivid in my mind. If/when I do go see more, they will go up. I actually don't even really watch many movies on DVD lately TBH.
2)Respond to comments - a HUGE one that I am guilty of not doing. Half the time I don't is because I feel like the person who leaves the comments never comes back to respond. But I will be better about doing this in the future!
3) More info on your life - This one probably won't happen. I try to keep my personal life out of my blog and I also really can't talk about stuff I do at work. This is mainly a book review blog so unless I am dying to talk about something, I try to keep my personal stuff out of it.
4) Library finds - I have to admit that I haven't gone to the library lately. Too many books at home that needs to be read! However, when I do get more, I will be posting My Library Reads.
5) Categorizing books on review - This is something I need to do. I have things already categorized in my review database but I can try to add that to the reviews as well.
5) More posts on book blog, the industry, your editorials - Well, since you asked...

I'm going to be having a new feature on my blog where I will post about my feelings on certain subjects. Caution: these aren't going to be happy, positive posts where I gleefully declare my love for something. Quite the opposite. In fact, I will be probably be writing against what the majority of the people who enjoy such stuff. And I will call my new feature:

That's right. Debbie Downer posts will take a popular trend in book blogging, book industry, or anything else I feel like and I will inject my witty sarcasm and humor and somewhat rant/complain/moan/groan in a coherent and intellectual way.

Possible topics covered by Debbie Downer:

- Amish fiction
- Passion in Christian romance (and the movement AGAINST it)
- Lack of multiculturalism in Christian fiction
- Book covers in Christian fiction
- Preaching in stories
- Authors who host contests for Amazon reviews
- Authors who don't do research before writing a YA book
- Book blogger programs
- Google Friend Connect
- Positive, encouraging, kid friendly radio stations

I don't know how frequent this feature will be but I can guarantee that I will probably have a lot of fun writing the feature and seeing how many heads I will spin. If there are any topics you would like me to consider covering, leave a comment or shoot me a email.

Thanks to everyone who completed the survey. It really meant a lot to know what my readers are thinking and I appreciate all the comments. As you can see, I plan on taking those suggestions and putting them to good use. Here's to another 5 more years of book blogging!

Oh and the most important question of all:

Are you a Star Wars fan?

I am just as obsessed as you are 13%

Only the untouched original trilogies (Han shot first!) 17%

I don't mind watching one or two but I'm not a die hard fan like you 58%

What's Star Wars? 13%

Well. To the 13% who are Star Wars nerds like me: May the force be with us.


  1. What a revealing survey. I haven't done one of these, but now I'm thinking that maybe I should. It is interesting that your audience is primarily readers. I too get stuck in the thought that I'm talking to other bloggers.

    Looks like you've got a lot of things in the pipeline though! Good Luck!

  2. Fun stats. Fun stuff coming. LOVE the stuff you want to Debbie Downer. Well done!


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