Nonfiction Authors Association Survey Results

nonfiction author survey resultsLast week we conducted our first survey of nonfiction authors. It ran for just a few days and our goal was to receive over 100 responses, which makes a survey like this statistically accurate. Thanks to the 123 people who participated–we are thrilled with the responses! This data will help shape our plans for the coming year, and help us provide even more value for members. We think the answers are fascinating and thought you’d like to see them too.

Where are you in your publishing journey?

  • Writing first manuscript: 34%
  • First book has been published: 27%
  • Published 2+ books: 28%
  • Published 10+ books: 4%

If already published, which did you use?

  • Self-publishing (established own publishing company): 40%
  • Custom publishing (hired a 3rd party firm to publish): 23%
  • Traditional publishing: 14%
  • Both self-published and traditionally published titles: 13%

What genres are you focused on with your writing? (Top five responses shown)

  • Biography/memoir: 30%
  • Self-development: 29%
  • Business/money: 21%
  • Religious/spiritual: 18%
  • Fiction/literature: 16%

How do you plan to publish your next book?

  • Self-publishing (establish own publishing company): 42%
  • Traditional publishing: 35%
  • Custom publishing (hire a 3rd party firm to publish): 23%

If already published, how many copies of your book(s) have you sold to date?

  • 0 to 500: 54%
  • 10,000+: 11%
  • 501 to 1,000: 10%
  • 5,001 to 10,000: 9%
  • 1,001 to 3,000: 7%
  • 3,001 to 5,000: 6%
  • 100,000+: 3%

Of the Social Media networks that you use, which do you use daily, weekly or monthly?

Daily (top responses):

  • Facebook: 67%
  • Twitter: 51%
  • Instagram: 35%
  • LinkedIn 28%
  • Pinterest: 16%

Weekly (top responses):

  • LinkedIn: 43%
  • Pinterest: 41%
  • YouTube: 37%
  • Twitter: 28%
  • Facebook: 22%

Monthly (top responses):

  • YouTube: 52%
  • Pinterest: 43%
  • Instagram: 35%
  • LinkedIn: 29%
  • Twitter: 21%

How often do you listen to podcasts?

  • Frequently: 20%
  • Sometimes: 32%
  • Rarely: 44%
  • What’s a podcast? 4%

Comments: Shows cited as favorites: Joanna Penn, Amy Porterfield, Michael Hyatt, John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn and the NFAA teleseminar series.

What topics are you interested in learning about?

Ranked as “very interested”:

  • Revenue streams for authors: 80%
  • How to build my author business and make money: 76%
  • Advanced book marketing: 73%
  • Selling on Amazon: 71%
  • Publicity: 70%
  • Book marketing basics: 61%
  • Professional speaking: 60%
  • Ebook publishing: 57%
  • Self-publishing: 56%
  • Specialty book sales: 56%
  • Bulk book sales: 54%
  • Blogging: 50%
  • Traditional publishing: 50%
  • Audio book publishing: 50%
  • Social media: 49%
  • Freelance writing: 49%
  • Manuscript writing: 47%
  • Podcasting: 42%
  • LinkedIn: 38%
  • Facebook: 35%
  • Video: 35%
  • Twitter: 33%
  • Online advertising: 28%
  • Pinterest: 24%
  • Periscope: 19%
  • Instagram: 17%

Comments/Other topics of interest:

  • “Would love to learn basics of website management.”
  • “Looking for advanced topics, like how to drill down and exploit my niche.”
  • “More on how to land an agent.”
  • “Sponsorships—how to obtain.”
  • “How to write for trade publications.”
  • “Advanced ebook capabilities, like embedding video.”
  • “Screenwriting.”

What other trade associations do you belong to?

  • Local writers group: 48%
  • Chamber of commerce: 15%
  • Toastmasters: 14%
  • National Speakers Assoc: 4%
  • Other: 62%

Responses to Other:

  • Society of Professional Journalists
  • Investigative Reporters and Editors
  • Christian Communicators
  • World Class Speaker Coaches
  • International Membership of Professional Advisors, Coaches and Trainers
  • Considering Toastmasters – x2
  • California Writers Club – x3
  • Institute of Management Accountants
  • PC Users Group
  • Association of Writers and Writing Programs
  • Rotary
  • International Association of Canine Professionals
  • National Union of Journalists (UK)
  • American Business Women’s Assoc – x3
  • RAINN Speakers Bureau – x2
  • Professional Life Coaching Organization
  • Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – x2
  • IBPA
  • Author’s Guild
  • Society of Composers & Lyricists
  • American Library Association
  • Romance Writers Australia
  • International Women’s Writing Guild
  • Association of Independent Writers
  • Women Speakers Assoc
  • Modern Language Assoc
  • Holistic Chamber of Commerce
  • Ewomen Network
  • American Copy Editors Society
  • Editorial Freelancers Assoc – x3
  • American Society on Aging
  • Textbook Authors Assoc
  • American Psychological Society – x2

Are you self-employed/entrepreneur?

  • Yes: 68%
  • No: 21%
  • Retired: 12%

If self-employed, what percentage of your income comes from book sales/writing?

  • 0 to 10%: 71%
  • 11 to 20%: 18%
  • 76 to 100%: 8%
  • 51 5o 75%: 1%
  • 21 to 50%: 1%

What is your annual income?

  • $0 to $50k: 53%
  • $51k to $75k: 25%
  • $100k+: 15%
  • $76k to $100k: 7%

*Note: over $50k combined = 47%

What is your age range?

  • 60+: 46%
  • 50 to 59: 26%
  • 40 to 49: 17%
  • 30 to 39: 9%
  • 0 to 29: 2%

College?

  • Advanced degree: 55%
  • Bachelors: 25%
  • Some college: 18%
  • n/a: 2%

What questions should we ask for our next survey? Please share in the comments!

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