The indieBRAG Survey Results



Author Survey – Part One

Each year we submit a survey to our Readers and Authors to find out what they like and don’t like about books, about what works for authors and how they might spend their time and money more wisely.

Robert has prepared the following for you which will appear in 4 blogs and posted on Fridays.

As many of you are aware, last October we conducted the indieBRAG Second Annual Survey among our Readers and Authors of a B.R.A.G Medallion book. As promised, I would now like to share with you the key findings from those two surveys, and compare the results versus the 2013 Survey where relevant. I will present the key findings from both surveys in two parts beginning today with the Author Survey: Part One.


Participation in the survey by authors of Medallion books dropped this year to roughly 20% of our total number of authors, which compares to 33% last year. While we were disappointed by this lower participation rate, the sample was still large enough to provide some useful, albeit directional, findings.

Self- Versus Traditional Publishing

• As was the case last year, approximately 80% of survey respondents have also had books published by traditional publishers. Two thirds of this group was dissatisfied with the experience. The primary reasons for this dissatisfaction were lack of marketing/promotional support and loss of control.

• Among the authors who had a positive attitude toward their traditional publisher, the upfront advance and getting their book into book stores were the main reasons.

• Finally, among all the survey respondents less than 20% were hoping to get a deal with a traditional publishing house.

Self-Publishing Companies Used

• Nearly nine out of ten respondents have used (CreateSpace and KDP) to publish their books and user satisfaction with them was very strong with 90% saying they were Extremely or Very Satisfied with the experience.

• Only one in ten respondents have published with one or more of the divisions of AuthorSolutions and less than half of this group expressed a strong level of satisfaction.

• The only other company to show a significant level of usage was Smashwords with a third of the survey respondents having published with them, but only 40% indicated a high level of satisfaction.

Actions Taken Before Self-Publishing a Book



• As was the case last year, the overwhelming majority of authors seeks professional help in the areas of line and content editing, as well as interior and cover design.

• Among the 12% who used other help, most involved the preparation of maps or illustrations.

Actions Taken to Promote Book


• Overall, there were no significant differences versus the 2013 survey.

• In terms of effectiveness, book signings, speaking engagements and attending book fairs are seen as critical elements in promoting a SP book. And of course having friends and family read and support it.

• Despite a relatively high level of dissatisfaction with its effectiveness, still many of our SP authors (76%) pay for advertising their book.

• Similarly, while half of the authors have had their books listed in directories it has obviously not been a positive experience for most.

This concludes Author Survey: Part One. Please look for my next blog which will provide several other interesting findings from the survey

Please share you thoughts and join us for Author Survey: Part Two which will be posted February 6, 2015

5 responses to “The indieBRAG Survey Results”

  1. Plum McCauley says:

    Perhaps the low turnout for participation in this survey was due to people not having access to it. Where was it posted? This is the first time I heard anything about it.

  2. Joseph Krygier says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I can’t remember if I participated. If not, I somehow must have missed a posting. I will for the next part. The information is very helpful and interesting.

  3. Malcolm Noble says:

    Very surprised that producing audio content was seen as only a little effective. I have found it a strong loyalty builder. I suspect that answer it that, like most of the options in your list, indie authors (including me) have yet to develop the best ways of using them and the service providers have yet to work out what we want! Comments welcome

  4. Geri says:

    Sorry Plum! We will have to be sure the tech team has all the email entered. We assumed they did but mistakes get past us sometimes.

  5. Geri says:

    Thanks Malcolm-
    I also think audio books are a great and growing resource. I think many writers think it is more difficult and costly than it need be. I hope we can provide them with some info and guidance so they can take advantage of this.

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