View Full Version : Have something to say to publishers about ebooks?


da_jane
02-03-2010, 07:23 PM
Hi all! Jane from Dear Author here. Mobile Read said it was okay for me to post this here.

I'm privileged to be able to give a presentation at this month's Tools of Change (http://www.toccon.com/toc2010) conference along with Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches Trashy Books and Editor Angela James from Carina Press. Our presentation is what readers want and it is based on conversations we've had with ebook readers for over four years on our blogs, in email and on message boards. But folks like hard numbers along with anecdotes so we've put together a survey and would love for you to fill it out. If you do fill it out, you'll be entered to win $250.00 toward books or an ebook reader of your choice.

Survey link here (https://dearauthor.wufoo.com/forms/ebook-reading-survey/)

It's an opportunity for your voice to be heard.

mcl
02-03-2010, 07:34 PM
Done. Thanks.

Ghostlight
02-03-2010, 07:53 PM
Done. Thanks for the post!

lilac_jive
02-03-2010, 08:05 PM
Anything to help you guys out.

cbarnett
02-03-2010, 10:17 PM
Happy to help as well.

jgaiser
02-03-2010, 10:36 PM
Done and done...

da_jane
02-03-2010, 10:54 PM
Thank you so much and thank Mobile Read for allowing me to post this.

RonF
02-03-2010, 11:00 PM
Done, thank you...

Guns4Hire
02-03-2010, 11:02 PM
Done and done and done.

CribQuilter
02-03-2010, 11:11 PM
Thank you!! I hope the publishers pay attention

ficbot
02-03-2010, 11:14 PM
I filled it out too and left many comments. I am very passionate about books and hope the publishers finally start to get the message. I even found that a few of the questions showed the biases some of the publishers have (for example assuming one is either buying ebooks or paper books---the question about bookstores being am example. Someone like me who buys ALL their fiction in e-form and ALL their non-fiction in print, I had trouble answering questions like that. Also, the question about whether certain things would reduce the amount of books I download without paying, if you are someone who has not/would not do this in the first place then it is an irrelevant question).

I did my best. I hope the comments were helpful and I hope they reach the publisher's ears :) Thanks for letting us know about your survey! Let us know how the talk goes.

kjk
02-03-2010, 11:38 PM
Thanks for asking-I completed it, with comments!

(One thing though, some of the questions had pre-selected answers, is that by design?)

GA Russell
02-03-2010, 11:55 PM
Darn! I didn't see where to type my email address until it was too late. Oh well.

Daithi
02-04-2010, 12:07 AM
Glad to help.

Alisa
02-04-2010, 12:43 AM
Darn! I didn't see where to type my email address until it was too late. Oh well.

I didn't either.

FizzyWater
02-04-2010, 01:23 AM
Did the entire survey with lots of comments, then lost them ALL when I got to the page and had to reload Firefox (had my NoScript add-in turned on, and wasn't warned there are scripts in the survey).

I might redo it later when I get over being ticked off that I lost all my comments.

dreams
02-04-2010, 01:32 AM
Darn! I didn't see where to type my email address until it was too late. Oh well.

I don't feel so bad. I did the same thing.:p

omk3
02-04-2010, 06:08 AM
Done. Totally forgot to mention geographic restrictions though, so I'm mentioning them here.

kennyc
02-04-2010, 06:49 AM
Done.

Connallmac
02-04-2010, 06:57 AM
Done!

Sweetpea
02-04-2010, 07:38 AM
"I would reduce or eliminate my downloading of ebook files I have not paid for if one or more of the following events would take place
ebook prices would decline
DRM was removed
I could share books with a few friends"

You forgot the most important one there: if the book I want was available to buy.

GhostHawk
02-04-2010, 07:56 AM
Done, good survey!

Thank you!

sony_fox
02-04-2010, 09:15 AM
Done, with a few comments and no email address.

You might want to try crossposting to some of the reader social network sites too - LibraryThing, Goodreads and Shelfari you'll get a lot of responses that way.

kwjones
02-04-2010, 09:26 AM
Done. Thank you.

da_jane
02-04-2010, 10:45 AM
If you filled out a survey and didn't put your email address in email me at jane @ dearauthor.com and we'll see if I can't match an entry with a name. Thanks!

da_jane
02-04-2010, 10:48 AM
Did the entire survey with lots of comments, then lost them ALL when I got to the page and had to reload Firefox (had my NoScript add-in turned on, and wasn't warned there are scripts in the survey).

I might redo it later when I get over being ticked off that I lost all my comments.

Thank you for the feedback. I put in a warning at the top re: turning off the no script addins.

da_jane
02-04-2010, 10:49 AM
Done, with a few comments and no email address.

You might want to try crossposting to some of the reader social network sites too - LibraryThing, Goodreads and Shelfari you'll get a lot of responses that way.

Is it okay to do that? I'm only a member at Goodreads but I wasn't aware you could post things like that.

kennyc
02-04-2010, 10:50 AM
If you filled out a survey and didn't put your email address in email me at jane @ dearauthor.com and we'll see if I can't match an entry with a name. Thanks!

Hey! That's going above and beyond.....besides limiting my chance to win since I filled it out properly! :rofl:

kwjones
02-04-2010, 10:55 AM
I didn't include my email address because I was more interested telling the publishers what I want than I was in a $250 prize. :)

Dave Berk
02-04-2010, 10:59 AM
Done. I also forgot to put in my email address... Never mind.

kennyc
02-04-2010, 10:59 AM
I didn't include my email address because I was more interested telling the publishers what I want than I was in a $250 prize. :)


Dude! Don'tcha know, it's all about the money!

kwjones
02-04-2010, 11:01 AM
Dude! Don'tcha know, it's all about the money!

For the publishers it is. :D

lilac_jive
02-04-2010, 11:05 AM
Hey, I ain't too proud to not take that money. I would have filled it out regardless, but heck, that can buy me a lot of romance novels :)

nothatkind
02-04-2010, 11:22 AM
Done. Totally forgot to mention geographic restrictions though, so I'm mentioning them here.

I did it... TWICE (forgive me, I know I'm shouting)... It's so, so... unright!!!
In that question about what would reduce my downloading ebooks I don't pay... they should add this option:
- If there were not geographic restrictions...

Croptop
02-04-2010, 12:30 PM
Added my 2 cents to the survey. Here's hoping the publishers will actually listen. Of course, the cynic in me expects that they won't.

omk3
02-04-2010, 12:51 PM
I did it... TWICE (forgive me, I know I'm shouting)... It's so, so... unright!!!
In that question about what would reduce my downloading ebooks I don't pay... they should add this option:
- If there were not geographic restrictions...


Thanks, then one of them was for me! I can't believe I didn't remember to complain about them :)
Geographic restrictions make no sense in the age of the internet. At all.

JoeD
02-04-2010, 12:55 PM
I forgot to mention geographic restrictions too, but the cost + drm + quality + lack of books as ebooks to begin with were at the front of my mind.

Geographic restrictions are annoying, but I can also see why companies are having such a bad time getting over them. In time I think those will be solved though with publishers/retailers asking for world wide distribution rights. I hope so anyway.

Pardoz
02-04-2010, 12:57 PM
I covered geo-restrictions as a subset of 'If the damn book were commercially available in the first place.' in comments.

SCION
02-04-2010, 12:57 PM
:thanks:

Xenophon
02-04-2010, 01:31 PM
Filled out the form/survey. Wrote a bunch of notes about DRM, business models, and the like. Lectured them a bit on "business 101" -- please PLEASE pass that on to the publishers.

Xenophon

rebarnmom
02-04-2010, 02:19 PM
You have my 2 cents worth! Good luck with your presentation!

da_jane
02-04-2010, 02:39 PM
The response has been tremendous. Already we have over 1000 entries. Thank you!

mcl
02-04-2010, 03:05 PM
I'm going to go way out on a limb here, and guess that the vast majority weren't speaking particularly favorably about publishers or pricing.

Elfwreck
02-04-2010, 03:11 PM
Hi all! Jane from Dear Author here. Mobile Read said it was okay for me to post this here.

Survey link here (https://dearauthor.wufoo.com/forms/ebook-reading-survey/)

If you've got a Dreamwidth account, you're welcome to post an announcement/link at the ebooks community (http://ebooks.dreamwidth.org). If not, I'll be happy to post it for you this evening. (I don't have access during the workday.)

nothatkind
02-04-2010, 03:28 PM
I've posted this (and the link, of course) in an italian forum... Hope there's a lot a "recommendations" for publishers... :-)

basschick
02-04-2010, 03:55 PM
i,too, filled it out and added comments. thanks for doing this - and good luck!

kennyc
02-04-2010, 03:56 PM
Oh and be sure to check back in here afterwards and tell us how it went eh?

Mr. Goodbar
02-04-2010, 04:00 PM
It would be great if you share the summary view of the data once you have it compiled.

mcl
02-04-2010, 04:02 PM
I'd also love it if you shared the industry reaction when the data's presented. Though I suspect it'll amount to either:

1) "meh.", or
2) "The consumers are all wrong!"

da_jane
02-04-2010, 04:41 PM
If you've got a Dreamwidth account, you're welcome to post an announcement/link at the ebooks community (http://ebooks.dreamwidth.org). If not, I'll be happy to post it for you this evening. (I don't have access during the workday.)

I don't have a dreamwidth account. I can provide you the html if you want to post it (and I would love it if you did). Should I PM you or do you want to send me an email? jane at dearauthor.com

da_jane
02-04-2010, 04:41 PM
It would be great if you share the summary view of the data once you have it compiled.

We will make all the data available (without identifying information)

da_jane
02-04-2010, 04:41 PM
I'd also love it if you shared the industry reaction when the data's presented. Though I suspect it'll amount to either:

1) "meh.", or
2) "The consumers are all wrong!"

I will. I hope it's not 1 or 2 but I won't get my hopes up.

alecE
02-04-2010, 04:51 PM
Done, but why oh why did I forget to shout and scream about geographic restrictions??? (possibly because I was busy ranting about DRM and editorial/proofing quality)

fugazied
02-04-2010, 07:08 PM
Imagine a world where the actual PUBLISHERS like Macmillan cared about their readers.

I haven't seen any of the major publishers present in forums like this one, they are in a walled garden well away from customer opinion. The best companies have a presence in social media and forums, to my knowledge most publishers don't care what we think about DRM.

whitearrow
02-04-2010, 08:33 PM
"I would reduce or eliminate my downloading of ebook files I have not paid for if one or more of the following events would take place
ebook prices would decline
DRM was removed
I could share books with a few friends"

You forgot the most important one there: if the book I want was available to buy.

+1, absolutely the most important point for me.

alvico
02-04-2010, 09:00 PM
+1, absolutely the most important point for me.

Ditto!

phenomshel
02-04-2010, 10:05 PM
Thirded!!

Boston
02-04-2010, 10:43 PM
Fourth'd! (Why I didn't pick any of the three options listed)

In my comments, I pointed out that because of competitive ebook pricing the publishers/authors were now getting money that I had been spending on the used market.

nothatkind
02-05-2010, 07:56 AM
Fifth... I put all of them!!!!
I put my finger mainly on the geo-restrictions, basically 'cause it's something a little trickly to avoid (anonymous ip, US address)
DRM - > It's something that I remove. I've even told it in the survey. It's mine, I bought it... from my point of view, "you" have no right to tell me with what I read it.
Geo-restrictions -> Something I "hate"...

zelda_pinwheel
02-05-2010, 08:50 AM
sixth ! definitely the most important point for me too.

i filled the survey with plenty of comments. it's possible that i used quite strong words, thinking back ; writing all about drm, geographic restrictions, high prices, unavailable books, poor formatting... tends to make me rather cranky. :o

thanks for doing this. i'm really looking forward to seeing the results of the survey, and also to hearing how the publishers will react to this input !

sony_fox
02-05-2010, 08:57 AM
Originally Posted by sony_fox
Done, with a few comments and no email address.

You might want to try crossposting to some of the reader social network sites too - LibraryThing, Goodreads and Shelfari you'll get a lot of responses that way.

Is it okay to do that? I'm only a member at Goodreads but I wasn't aware you could post things like that.

I'm on LT where there's been quite a bit of discussion over the whole amazon/Macmillion thing already. I'm sure a lot of people would like to have their views heard by at least some of the publishers.

guizzy
02-05-2010, 10:17 AM
Done!

Really, the 250$ prize is totally unnecessary. We're all dying for publishers to hear our opinion!

kennyc
02-05-2010, 10:21 AM
Done!

Really, the 250$ prize is totally unnecessary. We're all dying for publishers to hear our opinion!


This is true. :D

but if I win, I'll spend it at Amazon, not MacMillan. :p

Jeanette
02-05-2010, 11:35 AM
Completed for you. Love to hear the summary of the feedback:)

dreadcptflint
02-06-2010, 02:36 AM
Done and thank you.

Namtar
02-06-2010, 11:38 AM
Done. Thanks

:thumbsup:

Moejoe
02-06-2010, 01:32 PM
Filled it out, and gladly. Not that it will do any good, of course. This isn't David vs Goliath, this is a grain of sand on David's cousin's toe a thousand miles away vs Goliath.

Oh, and if you would, could you give the publishers this from me. image removed

And please let the *** know that I, and many others like me, wouldn't take e books off these idiots if they were paying us. :)

Witchbaby
02-06-2010, 10:17 PM
Done! And posted to facebook.

Thanks! :)

da_jane
02-08-2010, 11:00 PM
Thanks guys. You have been awesome. I can't wait to share the information with you and hopefully it will make some difference, even a small one.

sabredog
02-08-2010, 11:28 PM
done.

geo restrictions featured heavily in my submission.

Blue Tyson
02-09-2010, 05:56 AM
Yeah, nice work Jane.

andygates
02-10-2010, 04:12 AM
Done. Tried to keep the ranting to a minimum. :)

EowynCarter
02-10-2010, 04:24 AM
"I would reduce or eliminate my downloading of ebook files I have not paid for if one or more of the following events would take place
ebook prices would decline
DRM was removed
I could share books with a few friends"

You forgot the most important one there: if the book I want was available to buy.

Ditto !

Enola
02-10-2010, 10:26 AM
Done!

Crusader
02-10-2010, 01:55 PM
Done!

And what do you know geo restrictions was my main point of concern in all my comments.

Rachel
02-12-2010, 06:11 PM
Thought I would promote this.

Ramen
02-13-2010, 03:49 PM
Did the entire survey with lots of comments, then lost them ALL when I got to the page and had to reload Firefox (had my NoScript add-in turned on, and wasn't warned there are scripts in the survey).

I might redo it later when I get over being ticked off that I lost all my comments.

Wait, what? All comments? I also had scripts disabled* and I only redid the last page. The rest should have been kept... otherwise I submitted mostly garbage.

And making the email mandatory was a bad call.

*: I did the survery a couple of days ago but had to search for my login credentials to MR. I like to lurk, sorry.

lilac_jive
03-01-2010, 07:07 PM
I'm not sure if Jane will remember to post the results here, so I'll do it for her:
http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2010/02/28/ebook-reader-survey-results-and-winner/

fugazied
03-01-2010, 07:46 PM
I'm not sure if Jane will remember to post the results here, so I'll do it for her:
http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2010/02/28/ebook-reader-survey-results-and-winner/

Interesting stuff!
Hopefully some proactive person will convert that excel to a webpage with graphs. I don't have powerpoint and the excel crashed my MS office.

lilac_jive
03-01-2010, 07:55 PM
I'm taking a look at it now. I love playing with excel and don't mind cleaning it up.

lilac_jive
03-01-2010, 08:30 PM
Here's some data I've got so far:
AGE:
Out of 2724
423 said 18-25
469 said 26-30
757 said 31-39
638 said 40-49
335 said 50-59
82 said 60-69
6 said 70-79
2 said 80-89 (both are retired, thank goodness!)
1 said 90-99 (consultant as a career?)
11 said under 18

Great responses for how long they’ve been reading:
1968: "A fat cat sat on the flat mat." They don't write 'em like that anymore.
Since God was a boy
(General consensus here was pretty much since how long they could actually read)

2087 (again, out of 2724) read Romance (although this may be skewed since it was hosted by a romance blog)
2150 read Science Fiction/Fantasy
1774 read Mystery
2032 read General Fiction
1710 read Non Fiction

263 buy 11 or more new books a month
1312 buy 1 to 5
656 said 6-10
27 say they don’t buy new books
Someone put they “win books”

880 buy 1-5 USED books per month
221 buy 6-10
98 buy 11 or more

Out of 2724 responders:
2496 buy online (paper or digital)
2033 buy at brick and mortar
1201 buy at independent store
1536 buy at second hand bookstore
12 don’t buy books (one of these said they don’t buy new books, nor used books)

928 buy more ebooks than print books
1411 buy more print books than ebooks
342 buy roughly the same of each

2302 read ebooks, 341 don’t (81 blanks)

2318 know what DRM means (325 no, 81 blanks)

554 Prefer buying the ebook if the print is offered all of the time, 639 most of the time, 792 rarely, and 658 sometimes

1869 said ebooks are priced to high
28 said too low
746 said just right (81 blanks)

Complaints about ebooks
1355 – Cost
821 – Quality
1587 – Unable to share/borrow
375 – technical proficiency required to use
1020 – Selection

lilac_jive
03-01-2010, 08:50 PM
The most people would pay for an ebook:
42 said $30.99
46 said $25.99
195 said $19.99
485 said $15.99
1329 said 9.99
546 said $5.99

Would you pay more if you could share with friends?
584 said yes
1566 said No, because they don’t want to pay more to share
474 said no because they don’t share books with friends

822 said they would pay more if they could resell the ebook, 1809 said no.

1835 said they read on a desktop computer
526 sad Kindle
99 said nook
502 said Sony
120 said other eink device
649 said iPhone/iTouch
54 said Android
92 said Blackberry
310 said other handheld device
137 said other ebook reader

2089 bought their ebook reader themselves, 522 got it as a gift

OK i'm tired now...

da_jane
03-02-2010, 10:38 AM
Thank you for posting the results. I do plan to put together a PDF with pie charts but it will have to be after March.

lilac_jive
03-02-2010, 10:51 AM
Thank you for posting the results. I do plan to put together a PDF with pie charts but it will have to be after March.

I put together an autofilter on the spreadsheet, which will be fun to sort through the data and see if there's anything interesting for certain types of users. One thing I noticed last night was that all people who put librarian as their profession read on their desktop.

Ramen
03-02-2010, 08:45 PM
Huh. Only 586 (+171 blanks) have removed DRM from their purchases. Different audience as mentioned above? People not admitting it?

And there are a lot of Nulls for the question "I would reduce or eliminate my downloading of ebook files I have not paid for if one or more of the following events would take place". Lots are desktop users too. Correlation to the downloading of potentially illegal copies?

(Sorry for cherry-picking some of the results, lilac_jive. I just wanted to see if my replies survived NoScript [they did \o/] and couldn't help myself)

lilac_jive
03-02-2010, 09:15 PM
Huh. Only 586 (+171 blanks) have removed DRM from their purchases. Different audience as mentioned above? People not admitting it?

And there are a lot of Nulls for the question "I would reduce or eliminate my downloading of ebook files I have not paid for if one or more of the following events would take place". Lots are desktop users too. Correlation to the downloading of potentially illegal copies?

(Sorry for cherry-picking some of the results, lilac_jive. I just wanted to see if my replies survived NoScript [they did \o/] and couldn't help myself)

No one should ever be sorry for playing with data :) If I was looking at it right, a lot of nulls come from a cutoff somewhere in the middle. That might be some kind of error. It looks like they start around "Have you ever removed DRM?" 325 said no. Maybe those who don't know DRM kind of petered out there.

Elfwreck
03-03-2010, 06:01 PM
Huh. Only 586 (+171 blanks) have removed DRM from their purchases. Different audience as mentioned above? People not admitting it?

I don't buy DRM, so I don't remove DRM from purchases. There may be many anti-DRM people who vote with their wallets.

Rachel
03-05-2010, 10:07 AM
And there are a lot of Nulls for the question "I would reduce or eliminate my downloading of ebook files I have not paid for if one or more of the following events would take place". Lots are desktop users too. Correlation to the downloading of potentially illegal copies?

I presume others left this blank, as I did, because they have never downloaded an ebook illegally.