Digital Book World logo DBWDigital Book World has conducted two previous surveys of authors, and now they are doing a third. Their previous surveys have been criticized as drawing from too narrow a field, i.e. readers of Writer’s Digest. The criticism is that many, if not most, indie authors don’t read Writer’s Digest, leading the survey to under represent that section of the population.

I’m not offering an opinion on prior surveys one way or the other because honestly, I haven’t taken the time to dig into the methodology. But if the criticism is fair, then it seems obvious that a good fix is to broadcast the survey as widely as possible in forums where indie authors do hang out. I know a number of you are here, so I’m going to suggest that, if you’d like your voice to be heard and your data to be counted, you respond to the survey.

The cool part about responding is that you can bookmark the link and check out the results as they come in. I just took a look, and it does seem as if they are receiving results from a fair number of indie and hybrid authors. As of the writing of this article, over 80% of the respondents who have published a book have self-published.

I was delighted to see that the percentage of people who have used an Author Solutions-like service is quite small. There are some odd data points which left me scratching my head, particularly questions like “Have you written a manuscript?” where a huge percentage of respondents skipped the question, so I’ll be curious to see the final results and analysis.

Because of the many ways authors can approach publishing, their questions aren’t always on the mark. They didn’t quite have the right option for me to the question of “why did I self-publish?” but I thought the questions were thoughtful, and I think they will get some good data to analyze.

The experience was a bit surreal for me. Because I have a book where the publisher has the paper rights, but I own the digital rights and a Kindle Short for which I was paid an advance, it looks like I’m in some of the same boxes as a Hugh Howey. If my income only reflected that. 🙂

What I hope the numbers will show, and I think they will, is that there are lots of paths to publishing and many reasons why people choose to write books.


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