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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All!

I'm NOT promoting anything, just trying to get some direct feedback from authors about their experiences in self-publishing. We are exploring a long-term business idea and there isn't much data out there from authors themselves.

Please consider taking a 5-minute spin through our survey and sharing your experiences. Would love to hear from you. We will be sharing the findings back to the community once they are collated.

Also, if you do share your email address (last question) please be assured that we will never sell it or use it to spam you.

Really appreciate your time and help with this new endeavor. We're pretty excited about it!

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MDQ2C7M

Thank you!
 

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You might find that you don't get many responses to this. There is something of a history of indie authors sharing this kind of private business info only to have it used for something they disagree with, or being cut off from the the data when the end product is sold off.

I'm not passing judgement on any of those past disagreements, only saying that the more you share about your intentions the more help and support you will get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's a valid concern for sure. Our plan (such as they are) is to allow for data portability as a feature. You should own your own data, IMO.

Would love to get your take in the survey, and any other author friends you have as well. Just looking to get as broad a range of perspectives as we can.

Thanks!
 

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Done! I'm a sucker for surveys. I have a couple suggestions, though. Hopefully, they don't come off as rude.  ;)

The survey options seem to skew toward authors who don't publish often. For example, I think your highest option of "How many books have you published?" is 10, which is pretty mid-range in forums like this one. If your goal is to sell some sort of author services, I suggest adding options that'll help you more accurately measure your potential customer base.

On mailing list size, I suggest allowing people to select 20,000, 30,000, 50,000+ subscribers. Many indies have been list building for years, so your current highest option of 10,000+ will give you an underestimate. Then there's, "On a normal day, how many books do you sell?" The highest answer being 10+. I recommend adding 50+, 100+, 200+. If your survey gets lots of responses from writers forums and writers Facebook groups, that 10+ is, again, going to give you a severe underestimate. 

Another thing. Most of the questions beginning with, "Would you like to have access to..." need an "I already do" option. Authors who've been indie for years have usually already found author cross-promo opportunities, private forums, ARC distribution services, etc; what they need is to know what a new service or platform offers that the existing ones don't. Maybe ask which ones they're currently using, instead? With that missing, I selected "Neither agree nor disagree" for those questions.

And a couple questions are a little unclear. For example, "How much do you pay for book promotion services?" Does this include pay-per-click advertising? Because if it does, I think you'll find $100 per month, again, much too low as the highest option. I would add options for $500 per month, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000+. Those aren't average amounts for indies to pay but they're not uncommon amounts, either.

These suggestions might not seem important if only a dozen authors take the survey, but if hundreds take it, I think you'll find a significant chunk of them looking for those higher options.

Good luck with the project!
 

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Honestly? I started but the further I got the more I realized you're mining for information to launch a service you will expect people to pay you for. It's fairly obvious given the questions asked and the assumption on some of the answers provided for selection.
 

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Amanda M. Lee said:
Honestly? I started but the further I got the more I realized you're mining for information to launch a service you will expect people to pay you for. It's fairly obvious given the questions asked and the assumption on some of the answers provided for selection.
I also thought based on the questions that there is an assumption that we are all beginners and/or don't earn much.
 
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