I recently took a survey about E-book among my Facebook friends, Twitter followers and blog readers. I had forty-three kindly respond, and I wanted to share these fascinating results with you as well as talk about my own thoughts on E-books in general. So without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?

The most interesting thing about these survey results is the comments I received in the other category of each question. I learned a great deal about my friends and colleagues’ buying habits, reading interests, and views on E-books. One of the most surprising statistics to me was how the readers searched for and discovered new books to buy. I expected everyone to say they browsed on Amazon.com or asked their friends, but it was all over the board: writing organizations, sites like Goodreads.com, and specialty blogs to name a few.

While the percentages are inexplicably skewed, I think that answers on No. 9 were great news for authors. Looks like a majority of these readers search for an author’s website when they want to learn more about them. I know I sure do. That’s another excellent reason for us to create and keep adding fresh content to our websites.

What didn’t surprise me was how the percentages played out in regard to E-book prices. I expected most readers to buy 99 cent books, as it seems to be the price point that we all are willing to pay for new authors we are taking a chance on. If we are somewhat familiar with an author or they come recommended to us, we tend to buy around the $2.99 to $4.99 range. If we know an author personally, we usually want to support them in the best way we know how, by paying the asked-for price, which is generally %5.99 or above. E-book pricing is in a great deal of flux, which I think is a good thing. Self-published authors and some small publishers have an awesome amount of flexibility in how and when they adjust E-book prices. By making small adjustments throughout a marketing campaign, they can maximize their profits while pleasing their customers. It’s a win-win.

I truly believe that E-books are coming into their own at last. The E-readers and computer applications will continue to drop in price, add more features, and increase usability. The E-books themselves will become more sophisticated with interactive elements and more complex typography and design. In short, we’re on our way with this technology and it shows no signs of stopping. The pros to the reader far outweigh the cons now and as time goes on, the pros will continue to increase. As for my humble opinion: viva la E-books forever! *smile*


1. On Twitter or Facebook, do you click on links to E-books that are posted by friends?

  • 7.3 % Frequently
  • 43.9% Sometimes, if the E-book intrigues me
  • 24.4% Never
  • 24.4% Other
  • Comments under Other:

    “I search on Amazon.com and let them suggest books to me based on others I have bought.”

    “I don’t have a reader–so I use Kindle on Computer–but I rarely buy anything that I haven’t already “held in my hand” either at a bookstore, or on some social networking site like Facebook or Authonomy. However, I am not of the current generation–so my reservations don’t count for much.”

    “If it’s a genre I read, yes I’ll usually look.”

    “I’ve never had a friend post on FB. I would if they did.”

    “My friends have never posted links to E-books.”

    “I don’t have an ereader, I just use the kindle software on my phone and computer. So I have very few E-books. I’ve only clicked on the E-book links my friends post when I was already familiar with the book and it was free at the moment.”

    “I try to check them out because they’re books by friends, but I’m always way behind.”

    “Rarely, so, so rarely. I just don’t have time due to 80 hour work weeks.”

    “I’ve never bought an E-book.”

    “If it’s not the author, and if I already know something about the ebook and want to get more info, or if I had already decided to buy anyway.”

    2. How do you find E-books? Click all that apply.

    Note: The results on this question are a little skewed. When I set up the questionnaire, I failed to allow folks to pick multiple options. Sorry for the confusion. Though I really loved hearing the reasons why readers chose a particular venue(s) to buy books, so thanks for working around the error, everyone!

    • 23.8% Browse by category at Amazon, BN, iBookstore, or Sony Reader Store.
    • 11.9% See a Facebook post or tweet by an author you follow about their own ebook.
    • 4.8% See a Facebook post or tweet by an author or reader about an ebook they’ve read.
    • 4.8% Visit book recommendation sites like Shelfari or Goodreads.
    • 2.4% Receive an e-newsletter (from Amazon.com or similar) that recommends books.
    • 52.4% Other.

    Comments under Other:

    “Recommendations from my sweet daughter.”

    “Browse Amazon bestsellers.”

    “Couldn’t click all that applied, so: receive e-newsletter from Amazon; see on Facebook or Twitter; browse at Amazon BN, ibookstore (not Sony).”

    “I don’t like E-books, although I realize this is a coming thing. I like to hold a book in my hands and read.”

    “I have looked up ebook titles but haven’t purchased any.”

    “Read reviews on specialty blogs, also browse on Amazon. (The poll won’t let me click more than one choice.)”

    “Newspaper reviews (most ebooks I buy are by established readers) and I’m also buying a lot of old favourites that I don’t have in DTB format.”

    “Friend’s recomendations, Willamette Writer’s suggested books.”

    “Author’s blogs offering free books (Doctorow, Scalzi, Gaiman, etc).”

    “This list won’t let me click more than one. I browse by catagory, look at e-newsletters, but usually, I just strole through the bookstore, see something that interests me, then look it up on my Nook.”

    “As of yet I haven’t had the time to read any.”

    “I have neither found nor looked for E-books.”

    “Survey choice #1 and #3, both author and friend.”

    “Personal recommendation account for a few, but mainly I specifically hunt for a thriller. Sometimes I read Yahoo news / Entertainment / Books.”

    “I don’t have an E-book reader, and I’m not sure how much I would use it, as it doesn’t let me multi-task. Audio-books are another matter, though, I listen to lots of audio-books.”

    “Sorry Cheri–it doesn’t let you click ‘all that apply’. I do 1, 2, and 5.”

    “Don’t have an E-reader, so I don’t buy E-books.”

    “This will only allow me to click one, not all that apply. I use Goodreads, I see posts by authors on Facebook, and I see posts by authors and readers about books they liked.”

    “Same as above.”

    “All of the above except for the e-newsletter (you’ve got this set up so that you can only select one).”

    “E-newsletters from publishers and writers. I do not shop at Amazon ever.”

    “Could not check all that apply (selections should be check boxes instead of radio buttons): Goodreads, author’s blog, recommendation from blogs of other authors.”

    3. If you click on books links on Twitter or Facebook, how often do you buy the recommended ebook?

    • 10.8% Frequently
    • 37.8% Sometimes
    • 32.4% Almost Never
    • 21.6% Other

    Comments under Other:

    “Don’t read books on Twitter or Facebook.”

    “I usually look at sample chap before buying.”

    “Haven’t yet bought an E-reader.”

    “again, not done this yet.”

    “I have never clicked on book links on Twitter or Facebook.”

    4. Most of the E-books you buy are:

    • 37.5% Free to 99¢
    • 34.4% $2.99 to $4.99
    • 28.1% $5.99 and up

    Comments under Other:

    “I’ll spend more, up to ~ $12, for an author I know.”

    “When I go on these sites I am always discouraged to discover how many great classics I have not already read–and which are available for free.”

    “I try to stay under $10, to keep E-books costs as low as possible. But, truth be told, I’ve only downloaded 2 E-books on my kindle.”

    “N/A. Haven’t purchased any.”

    “If it’s an author I’m not familiar with, or if something looks interesting, I’ll download it if it’s free/.99. Then if I like it, I have no problem paying more for other books by the author.”

    “I will spend more (up to $5) for an ebook by author I like.”

    “But most I buy are Big 6 published and by established authors.”

    “That will depend on the book.”

    “I have never purchased an E-book.”

    “It really varies–I buy $2 classics and $10 new releases.”

    “I’m on a tight budget.”

    “Depends on how much I want the book. Frankly, I still read most in hard copy.”

    “If it’s an author I already know, I’ll pay a little more.”

    “Right now as I’m getting started but in the future I will spend more.”

    “No E-books yet.”

    “I buy a lot of $.99 ebooks, too.”

    “Most. I download a lot of cheap books that I end up not reading. If I really want a book, I’ll pay up to $5 or $6.”

    “I generally won’t spend more than $2.99 on an ebook.”

    5. What usually drives you to purchase an E-book most often?

    • 0.0% E-book title
    • 38.5% Description/blurb
    • 15.4% Word of mouth from friends
    • 46.2% Other (please specify)

    Comments under Other:

    “The description/blurb is important, but price is ultimately a deciding factor.”

    “Written by friend and I read the genre.”

    “The cover artwork, the blurb and the reviews are what I use, in that order.”

    Relationship with author.”

    “Familiarity with the author (whether they are established or a new writer I ‘know’ through Authonomy or elsewhere).”

    “It’s free. If I like it, I buy it afterward in paper to loan to friends or to give as gifts.”

    “Both; descriptions and word of mouth.”

    “I have never purchased an E-book.”

    “My knowledge of the author. I only have a handful of E-books and they’re all from new/indie authors I’ve met through various writer networking websites.”

    “The few books I’ve bought so far have been ones I read parts of on Authonomy. I already know they’re good.”

    “Actual writing. I never buy without reader a section. Also, I’m turned off by all the do-it-yourself covers that look homemade. And yes, I always read the description of the book. Title doesn’t sway me unless it’s just a bad title. A killer title can delight me. Oh, and I always read reviews, giving a high degree of emphasis to PW, LJ, etc.”

    “Usually, it’s because I know the author or authors I already love recommend it.”

    “Like that author.”


    “Sample chapters.”

    “Cover and description/blurb. I won’t buy a book based on its cover, but the cover catches my eye and gets me to read the blurb.”

    6. What fiction genres do you most like to read? (Click all that apply.)

    • 46.3% Mainstream/Commercial
    • 34.1% Romance
    • 34.1% Young Adult
    • 51.2% Scifi/Fantasy
    • 51.2% Historical
    • 36.6% Mystery
    • 34.1% Thriller

    7. How old are you?

    • 0% 8-12 years old
    • 0% 13-18 years old
    • 14.6% 19-29 years old
    • 85.4% 30 years old or above

    8. Are you male or female?

    • 65.0% Female
    • 35.0% Male

    9. When you want to learn more about a favorite author, do you:

    • 26.8% Search for the author on Twitter or Facebook
    • 87.8% Search for author’s Web site
    • 12.2% Ask your friends’ opinions
    • 34.1% Search an online bookstore like Amazon.com
    • 14.6% Other (please specify)

    Comments under Other:

    “I also go to the publisher’s website; and I search out book reviews on the Internet at other sites.”

    “I’ll tend to go to Google first, but Wikipedia is a close second.”

    “Google the author.”

    “I google them to find what I can.”

    “Wikipedia first.”


    10. Do you read E-books on an E-reader app like Kindle for iPhone or own an actual E-reader, or do you plan to buy/download one in the near-future?

    • 80.0% Yes.
    • 20.0% No.



    “Kindle. But not very often.”

    “I’m just adapting to Facebook and Twitter. Didn’t have Internet until Authonomy. Not ready for Kindle.”


    “Kindle rocks!”

    “Read books on Kindle and iPad.”