Does a Blog Sell Books? Survey Results!


free 'group' hugs

If you missed it, Monday I put up a survey evaluating the question: Does a Blog Sell Books? So many of you answered and I am so excited to share the interesting results. Lots to be learned from what you guys had to say. :)


So here are the results...

1. Do you read erotic romance?

Yes 29%

No, it will never be my thing 39%

No, but willing to give it a try 32%

So here's the part you can't change as a blogger (for the most part). Those 39% who are absolutely not interested in reading my genre are not going to buy my book no matter how much they like my blog or me personally or how much they may get out of my posts. It's not their thing.

However, there's that open-minded 32% of you that could possible be swayed. And I know this is where I actually fall for a lot of genres. For instance, I'm not one to read literary fiction. However, I'm not categorically against it, so if I knew someone who I wanted to support who had written it, I might be tempted to pick it up. And my guess is that for other genres, there would be less of "it will never be my thing" percentage because erotic romance can be a bit more polarizing than other genres. :)

Lesson: You don't HAVE to gear your blog to cater only to those who read your specific genre. In fact, you may be missing out on friends and potential readers who read/write something completely different but who may be open to trying something new.

2. Do you plan to buy my book?

No way 6%

Probably not 32%

Yes definitely 26%

Probably so 37%

I found this interesting. Above, 39% of you said you'd never read erotic romance, but then only 6% said absolutely no way they'd buy my book. Hmm... So perhaps this is because "no way" seems like a harsh answer and you kind people don't want to send me crying in my beer. Or maybe it means that a) you could be convinced or b) you may be willing to buy it for someone else? or c) you may make an exception for some other reason. I'm not sure. Interesting nonetheless.

To you yes definitely's and probably so's, I send you a big cyber hug. Thank you.

Lesson: Even people who like your blog AND read your genre may still need something else to get them to purchase. 37% of you are probably so's, which means there are other factors that will determine if you buy or not. Perhaps you need to make sure you like the blurb, if you have money to spend on it at the time, if reviewers give the book high ratings, etc.

3. If you DON'T plan to buy it, why not?

I don't read the genre. 74%

The story doesn't sound like my thing. 9%

Other 17%

Most of the comments people left on this question talked about how they just don't read the genre or love scenes make them uncomfortable. A few others noted no money to spend on books, too many books to read already, etc. However, there were also some very nice comments saying that though they don't read the genre, they will be more than happy to tweet and share info about my release. :)

Lesson: Even if someone does not plan to buy your book for whatever reason, if they like you or your blog, they still may be willing to support you by helping spread the word to those who may be interested in it. How awesome is that? Bloggy friends are the best.

4. If you DO plan to buy it, why?

I like you or your blog and want to help support your career  71%

Other 16%

I like the story blurb 7%

I'm already an erotic romance reader 6%

Aww, you guys got me all warm and toasty on this one. I feel like Sally Field--they like me! *group hug* This is a whopping statistic, peeps, and makes a huge case for blogging/social networking. This thing is about connecting with other people and this is why those authors who tweet every other freaking tweet "Check out my book!" "Buy my book!" "Ten percent off today!" don't get it. Most of you are saying you're not going out to buy my book because you've been exposed to the story and it's awesome (though, I hope it is), it's because you've connected with me on some level and want to be supportive. That's an amazing, beautiful thing.

Lesson: It's not about the book. That's only part of it. It's about who you are. (I go into detail about this in my post on Author Brand over at Sierra's joint if you want to hear me rant on this some more.) :)

Here are some of the anonymous comments left on the question above:

  • Can I explain even if I answered I plan to buy your book? I've only been following your blog for about a year, but during that time I've been entertained, I've been informed, and I've learned. I figure if your blog is this good, you book should be great. I don't read a lot of erotica, but like good writing wherever I can find it. I plan to buy Nathan Bransford's book this summer when it's released for the same reason and Authoress' dystopian when she finally reveals her true name and title. Like your blog, those are two that have made me a better writer and I think the least I can do is help support their careers. Maybe someday, someone will think the same thing about me.
  • I totally love ya and you gave me a five page critique.
  • You are nice and crazy cool! You engage in discussion and don't just hawk your wares. Of course I'm buying your book!
  • You serve me with your blog. The least I can do is part with a few dollars to repay you for what I have gained for free
  • I like authors who "give back" to the community in some way. I am willing to try out the book.
  • I want to see what kind of filthy mind I'm hanging around with. ;)
  • I've wanted to know more of what's happening from the excerpts you've posted.
  • As a writer I like to show support for other writers. It's a two way street-- I have found. I usually make a good review and if I don't like it I will tell the author in private what I found about it that I didn't like.
  • I also help in the hopes that I might find support is reciprocal. I know my work is good and of course I know that some people won't vare for it just because of the genre. I read all types of books. Even more so now that I am connecting with other writers.
  • Because I love your blog/writing advice - and - you came right out and asked - so yes. I will.
  • Actually there were a few answers that applied to me. I read erotic romance, but you're partly responsible for that. I like your story blurb. And because I want to support your career. Would I have bought it if it weren't for the blur? Probably not. I never buy books I'm not interested in
  • I tend to buy the books of people who I interact with on a regular basis online, or even those whose blogs I read, because I ALWAYS buy the books of people who I am friends with in person and the online world just feels like an extension of that. I believe in supporting good people.
  • I do like you and your blog and your helpful personality goes a long way in gaining my readership.
  • To support your career although I don't read erotic romance. I would just skip over the sex.

4. Have you ever bought a book solely because you liked the author, their blog, or whatever they had to say on Twitter?


Yes 74%

No 26%

Final  lesson... 

Yes, write a fantastic book. That's your best marketing tool. But when it comes to your online presence and social networking--it's all about being genuine and helpful and connecting with others. And that, my friends, is 100% free.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey! I heart you guys. :)

So do any of these results surprise you? What do you take away from these results?