In this Blog I will continue my summary of key findings from the indieBRAG 2014 Reader Survey. As was the case with Part One, these results reflect the views and preferences of the respondents as distinct from their role as members of the indieBRAG reader team.

Important Considerations in Buying a Book



  • Not surprisingly, the Genre of a book is a critical determining factor in whether or not it is purchased. Like last year nearly 70% of readers said this was either Extremely or Very Important.
  • Author, Price and an eBook version are important with over 40% of the respondents rating each of these as Extremely or Very important factors. Once again, these results are consistent with the 2013 findings.
  • Title, Overall Length and whether or not it is Part of a Series are relatively less important factors.

Factors Used in Judging a Book



  • Over half of readers read only a few pages or the 1st Chapter before deciding on a book. This is comparable to last year.
  • The percentage of readers who said they read several chapters before deciding on a book was down to 6% this year versus 23% in 2013.
  • The other two measures, the Blurb/Back Cover and 1st Paragraph or Two held versus the previous year’s survey.

Types of Reviews Read



  • All respondents read book reviews on and 70% of them say these reviews can Always or Usually be trusted. This was up from 56% last year.
  • Almost all respondents read Goodreads but the percentage who trust them at 41% was down versus 2013 when 56% felt they were trustworthy.
  • 84% do not believe what they read in Paid Reviews, which is worse than 2013 when 61% said they were untrustworthy.
  • Believability for the New York Times, Literary Magazines and Newspapers also deteriorated versus 2013.
  • Conversely trustworthiness of blogger reviews improved modestly versus 2013, with a rating of Always and Usually believable rising from 30% to 36%.

This concludes the Reader Survey: Part Two. Please look for the conclusion of my summary of the 2014 indieBRAG Reader Survey in Part Three in my next Blog.

2 responses to “indieBRAG 2014 SURVEY RESULTS”

  1. Tahlia Newland says:

    Interesting that they trust Amazon reviews 100%. I thought it was common knowledge that some authors pay for 5 star reviews on Amazon.

  2. Geri says:

    I must admit that this one was surprising to me. From our survey nearly 75% always/usually trust amazon reviews! Yet, most readers I personally talk to find reviews dubious -especially if there are too many 5* and then 1* reviews and the sales rate doesn’t match in any way. This tells me that the reviews are heavily suspect – padded by family, friends, or paid for and then the 1* reviews indicate spoilers. The problem is that these padded reviews moves your book up in visibility on amazon.
    Lorraine Wilke( author of the B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree- After the Sucker Punch) just wrote about her feelings about suspect reviews on her interview with Layered Pages which I found right on-

    How do you respond to positive and negative reviews?
    “Good question. On a topic that seems to have given birth to a lot of silliness in the world of book reviewing, particularly for indie writers. When you see very mediocre books with hundreds of 5-stars reviews clearly written by family or friends within writers groups; when you read threads on Goodreads or other sites where writers beg each other for review swaps (“you like mine and I’ll like yours!”); when industrious book sites charge writers ridiculous fees for reviews; when authors get friends to attack or negate revewiers who didn’t like their books; or when trolls go out of their way to collectively bash writers they don’t like for one reason or another, the whole process and value of reviewing becomes moot, corrupt, and tarnished. Which is too bad, because good, honest, thoughtful reviews can be very helpful to an artist. As for my own, I’ve made clear I would no more want a fake, traded, or purchased “good” review than I’d want a unfair, mean-spirited negative one. I want readers who’ve taken the time to read my books to leave their honest, authentic responses to the work, whatever that is.”

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