In this Blog I will conclude my summary of the key findings from the indieBRAG 2014 Reader Survey. The results presented here reflect the views and preferences of the respondents in their roles as members of the indieBRAG reader team.

Based on their experiences reading self-published books for indieBRAG, 80% of our readers believe that the best indie books are as good as the best traditionally published books, while 20% say they are even better. This finding has not changed versus last year.

Factors Affecting Attitude



  • As in 2013, Editing, Writing Style, Plot, and Dialogue are all considered Extremely or Very Important factors in evaluating an indie book.
  • In contrast to last year, Character Development is also now rated as being Extremely or Very Important.
  • A book’s Title and its Cover/Interior Layout continue to be considered relatively less critical factors.

Characteristics of Self-Published Books



  • As was evident in 2013, Sloppy Editing is a Deal Breaker and poorly edited indie books are immediately dropped from consideration for a B.R.A.G. MedallionĀ®.
  • Unstylish Layout, Awkward Font Size and Excessive Length negatively impact whether or not an indie book is considered worthy, with over 40% of the respondents rating these as a Deal Breaker or a High Impact.
  • Numerous/Excessive Acknowledgements and Emotional/Mawkish Dedications are not seen as major negatives, although a quarter to a third of the respondents obviously did not like these unprofessional traits.

Advice to Self-Published Authors

As we did in the Author Survey, we asked our readers if there was one piece of advice that they could give to self-published authors what would it be?

  • Edit, edit, edit and then edit some more
  • Ignore all professional advice except on editing
  • Know your audience and genre
  • Stay focused on your story and don’t get off-track
  • Avoid unnecessary details
  • The less that your story is like any other the better
  • Have a strong ending

This concludes my review of the significant findings of the 2014 indieBRAG Reader Survey. I hope that you have found these results, along with those from the Author Survey, interesting and informative.

However, as I said at the beginning of this series of Blogs, the level of participation in both the Author and Reader Surveys dropped markedly this year versus last year, and we are currently considering whether or not to discontinue the surveys this year. Your inputs would be welcome in this regard.

2 responses to “READER SURVEY: PART THREE”

  1. Doug Carlyle says:

    Great information. In particular, I enjoyed this bullet, “Ignore all professional advice except on editing.”

  2. Heidi Skarie says:

    Interesting information. Thanks for the article.

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