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How Readers and Authors Connect Poll Results

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on April 13, 2016 in Books, Events, Poll, School visits, Tales from the field |

I know a lot of you have been waiting for the results of the two polls I conducted on how readers and writers connect. To be clear, though I did take a statistics course in college, I ran no analytics on the statistical significance of the results. My intention was never statistical significance, but merely to see what writers and readers who check out my blog had to say. The poll was open to anyone who happened to stop by the post over the course of time the poll was active, so that means a (very!) limited pool of people.

And, drum roll please….the much-anticipated results:

The wording of the reader poll was “As a reader, I enjoy connecting to authors through…” followed by a list of options, and voters could check as many choices as they wanted. This poll got a total of 70 votes.

Readers Connect to Authors

Voters could leave a comment and one actually did. “Often find myself Googling authors and going on their pages because [name redacted] likes to see a pic of the author. He also wants to know if they are alive or dead- his obsession currently.” So authors, make sure to have a picture of yourself on your website and your life/death status!

It’s no surprise that Author’s Blog took the top spot as a way readers connect to writers since this poll was conducted on an author’s blog. I also suspected Facebook would be a big one (and one of the reasons I finally created an author Facebook page, which I’d love for you all to check out here).

Wattpad had a poor showing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good place to connect, just that the audience for this particular poll doesn’t use it in that way. I’m actually dipping my toes into Wattpad with my collection of soccer shorts TALES FROM THE FIELD: 12 STORIES, 1 CHAMPIONSHIP. You may remember some of these stories from the Lightning Quick Reads blog, but the year ended before the final few stories did. I’ll be posting a story a week until all 12 are up (and they’re free!).

Okay, on to the other poll:

The wording of the writer poll was “As a writer, I’ve had success connecting to readers through…” again followed by a list of options, and voters could select as many they wanted. There were 30 total votes on this part.

Writers Connect to Readers

Another strong showing by Facebook solidified my choice to create an author FB page. The Other option came out higher than I expected. I asked voters to provide specifics for this, and blog, website, and newsletter were included as answers. I didn’t provide blog and website specifically in this poll because I already have those and have definitely had success connecting to readers through these, so I didn’t feel like I needed proof of that.

I wanted to mention this because even though I wasn’t interested in that response for this poll, I do think it’s very important for authors to have a static website for readers to land on. A blog is nice for authors to have as well. It does require work, but I find it’s worth it for me. I have considered doing a monthly newsletter and am still considering it for the future, but at present I don’t have plans to start one. There simply aren’t enough hours of the day for that right now.

Wattpad is responsible for that pesky 0% at the top there, but again I’m taking all these results with a grain of salt. In both polls, On-line Author Events scored on the low side, and I’ll definitely be taking that into consideration when I plan any future online promotion and blog tours. Not that I won’t be doing online promotion, but I might work to optimize my exposure time vs. how much time I put into preparing them.

School visits was a category I considered including, but ultimately didn’t because I didn’t think it was the right audience for it. Also, I 100% know that school visits are an awesome ways for kidlit authors to connect directly to readers. The trick to school visits is booking them.

Those are my thoughts on the poll results. I hope you found them useful regardless of the statistical implications. I’d love to continue hearing your thoughts on how readers and authors connect. What’s worked for you? What hasn’t worked (which is sometimes more useful to share)? Do you care? (If you don’t why are you reading this?) 😉

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