Tag Archives: self publishing survey

Self Publishing Survey Seeks to Uncover Motivations, Achievements of Self Published Authors in 2018

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The Thorne Self Publishing Survey 2018 has launched. The purpose of the survey is to determine what motivates self published authors and what they have achieved both financially and personally. The research is being conducted by Dr. Heidi Thorne, MBA/DBA, of Thorne Communications LLC.

The first Thorne Self Publishing Survey was done in 2016, and is planned as a biennial survey. In summary, the results of the 2016 survey suggest that the top motivation of self published authors is to make money. However, the top challenge for these authors was a three-way tie with no time, not making enough money from their books, and not knowing where or how to market their books. In spite of their challenges with financial achievement, self published authors surveyed remained optimistic to very optimistic about their book revenue prospects for the coming year.

As in 2016, the survey will be conducted using the popular Survey Monkey platform. With the exception of a few very minor updates to the questions for clarification, the survey is identical to the last one so that the results of the previous and current surveys can be accurately compared. Substantially the same populations will be invited to participate again in 2018, with even greater emphasis on social media solicitations.

The 2018 survey link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Z2M5QLZ

Results from the 2018 survey are scheduled to be published in January 2019.

A full report on the previous 2016 Thorne Self Publishing Survey is available on Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NGYJLEE

Dr. Heidi Thorne is a nonfiction book editor and self published author, and was a trade newspaper editor for over 15 years. She also spent over 25 years in sales, marketing and advertising, and taught at the college level for five years. For more information on the survey or Dr. Thorne, visit her website at Heidi Thorne.com.

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Self Publishing Survey: 67.50% of Authors Consider Traditional Publishing

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The Thorne Self Publishing Survey 2016 found that 67.50% of surveyed authors have considered the traditional publishing path, meaning getting a book deal from a publishing house instead of doing it themselves.

“With today’s availability and cost effectiveness of self publishing, it is surprising that such a large share of the surveyed authors have considered trying to get a book deal with a publisher,” says Dr. Heidi Thorne, MBA/DBA, who conducted the survey.

The survey also found that freshman authors–meaning those who had not yet self published or those with only one book–had a much higher proportion of authors who have not considered the traditional publishing route (31.25% for all respondents versus 55.88% for freshman authors). “In the past, self publishing was often seen as a fallback option for authors who could not secure a book deal with a publisher. This result could signal that new authors may be going for a ‘self publish first’ strategy, although it is impossible to determine from the data in the survey,” explains Dr. Thorne. In future surveys, restructuring of the question or adding additional questions is planned to help determine if self publishing is a first or fallback choice.

An “I don’t understand the question” answer option was offered for the traditional publishing question. Only one survey participant marked that answer. “It was encouraging to see that the understanding of what traditional and self publishing models are was almost unanimous,” says Dr. Thorne.

The Thorne Self Publishing Survey 2016 was conducted from July to November 2016 and anonymously surveyed 86 self published authors on a variety of issues including book sales and forecasts, motivations, challenges and familiarity with traditional and self publishing models. There were 80 authors who shared their traditional publishing experience in the survey. Women, business owners, nonfiction authors, and age 40 to 60+ were highly represented in the entire survey population. Authors were recruited through social media, social media advertising and email invitations.

For comparison and to monitor trends, the survey is planned to be repeated in 2018. Full results of the 2016 survey are available as a Kindle eBook on Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NGYJLEE

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Self Publishing Survey: 29.63% of Authors Say Time, Money Issues are Top Challenges

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The Thorne Self Publishing Survey 2016 found that the top challenges self published authors face are in a three-way tie: no time, not making enough money from books, and don’t know where or how to market books (29.63% of survey respondents for each).

“Given that there was a large segment of business owning authors in the survey population (59.30% of all survey participants), simultaneous challenges of time and money could be expected,” says Dr. Heidi Thorne, MBA/DBA, who conducted the survey.

Other than the three issues in the number one spot, challenges of being overwhelmed by the self publishing process (23.46% of respondents), afraid of book not being good enough and causing embarrassment, and not being able to organize thoughts (22.22% of respondents, tied for third place). “Overwhelm and thought disorganization can also be time issues. So it is not surprising that these were also popular answers,” Dr. Thorne continued.

Skill challenges for writing or publishing ability ranked at the bottom for surveyed authors, except for the fear of not being good enough which tied in the top three challenges overall. “When viewed against surveyed authors’ second top self publishing motivation of building an expert status, one can easily understand why this fear and potential embarrassment ranked high. These authors’ reputations are riding on the quality of the books they self publish,” Dr. Thorne explains.

The Thorne Self Publishing Survey 2016 was conducted from July to November 2016 and anonymously surveyed 86 self published authors on a variety of issues including book sales and forecasts, motivations, challenges and familiarity with traditional and self publishing models. There were 81 authors who shared their challenges in the survey. Women, business owners, nonfiction authors, and age 40 to 60+ were highly represented in the entire survey population. Authors were recruited through social media, social media advertising and email invitations.

For comparison and to monitor trends, the survey is planned to be repeated in 2018. Full results of the 2016 survey are available as a Kindle eBook on Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NGYJLEE

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Self Publishing Survey: 51.25% of Authors Made $100 or Less from Books in 2016

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Self Publishing Survey Infographic

Self Publishing Survey Infographic – Scroll to View Larger or Share

The Thorne Self Publishing Survey 2016 found that 51.25% of participating self published authors reported making $100 or less in book income from their books and eBooks in 2016. Some authors even made $0 or lost money.

“In spite of their book sales results being disappointing, the self published authors I surveyed remain optimistic about their book income prospects for the coming year. The top answer for book income forecast for 2017 was $1,000 to $4,999 (23.75%). Even that might seem to be a low number. But considering that just over half are making $100 or less this year, making $1,000 or more would mean they hope to make several times what they did this year. As well, the number of authors forecasting to make less than $100 dropped to 32.50% for next year,” says Dr. Heidi Thorne, MBA/DBA, who conducted the survey. “On the opposite end of the income spectrum, the number of self published authors making $10,000 or more in book income this year (6.25%) doubled to 12.50% forecasting that income level for next year.”

But, as Dr. Thorne explains, these low book income levels should not be the only measure of a self published book’s success: “With a high proportion of business owners and nonfiction authors in the survey, it could be suspected that many of them are self publishing a book to help promote their businesses. In those cases, the actual book revenues can be irrelevant when compared to the income and public relations opportunities that a book affords a business owning author.”

The Thorne Self Publishing Survey 2016 was conducted from July to November 2016 and anonymously surveyed 86 self published authors on a variety of issues including book sales and forecasts, motivations, challenges and familiarity with traditional and self publishing models. There were 80 authors who shared their book income and forecasts in the survey. Women, business owners, nonfiction authors, and age 40 to 60+ were highly represented in the entire survey population. Authors were recruited through social media, social media advertising and email invitations.

An infographic is available showing key income stats from the survey

For comparison and to monitor trends, the survey is planned to be repeated in 2018. Full results of the 2016 survey are available as a Kindle eBook on Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NGYJLEE

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Heidi Thorne Publishes 2016 Self Publishing Survey Results

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Self Publishing Survey 2016 - ThorneOn December 22, 2016, author and editor, Dr. Heidi Thorne, MBA/DBA, published results from the Thorne Self Publishing Survey 2016. The survey was conducted from July to November 2016 and anonymously surveyed 86 self published authors on a variety of issues including book sales and forecasts, motivations, challenges and familiarity with traditional and self publishing models. Women, business owners, nonfiction authors, and age 40 to 60+ were highly represented in the survey population.

“Overall what I found is that despite the meager income many of the surveyed self published authors made this year, they have strong money motivation and remain optimistic about their book income potential for the near term,” says Heidi.

Full results of the survey are available as a Kindle eBook on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NGYJLEE

 

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