Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

What Do Readers Really Want . . . ?


Apart from my fiction, I write about writing, itself, as well as publishing and reading.

If we want to be realistic about those three roles, reading is the most primary, with writing rendering what’s read, and publishing smack in the middle.

So, it would seem that surveying readers would be a major concern of writers and publishers.

Do you think it is?

I try to maintain a balance among those three roles in this blog and, since I’ve been writing about publishing the last few days, here are a few posts about readers I feel are important: Genre Reconsidered ~ Reader-Driven Fiction, How Can Authors Find Readers?, and It’s Simple. They’re Gone Reading :-)

I want to make this post and its comments into a survey. We’ll use a list from an article on BookRiot called, The 7 Things Readers Want from Publishing.

Help me out. Find the things on the list that you as a reader want and put the numbers in a comment. If you want to add other things you want not on the list, great! And, if you want to add your reasons for the things you want as a reader, wonderful :-)

1. “Readers want there to be choice: romance, technical manuals, memoir, children’s, fantasy, thriller, literary fiction and on and on.”

2. “Not only do readers want choice, but they also want those choices to be good.”

3. “Readers want reading to be affordable.”

4. “Readers want to be able to find things they are interested in. This means both genres they are already familiar with and exploration.”

5. “Readers want to be able to get something to read as easily as possible.”

6. “Readers want to enjoy the experience both of reading books and of purchasing them.”

7. “Readers want reading to fit into their lives easily.”

Looking forward to what you think………
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

7 responses to “What Do Readers Really Want . . . ?

  1. Tomas December 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Dear Alexander. each your post is like a challenge to self-examination. You awake me and head to insights, into the miracle of the inner lights. Thank you. Your confession enabled me too to look consciously at my activity, and it became clear: the wish to respond, the leaving of the comments on other blogs awakes me- results in writing, and is the main message of Tomas Karkalas All artworks may be described as human need to communicate. Each picture is the artistic response. Normally, in ordinary conversations, each response starts the further chatter and the smile crowns the conversation…
    In the world of art, everything goes otherwise : while canvases came in response to the World News, and these artistic responses looked for the reply from the viewers, not the hot discussions on the raised topic but the polite silence (for example, flowers to the artist) inhabit the halls…
    What relates to publishing, is the above not the publishing? Publishing is the inevitable – is like a breathing, like the signature of being alive. That’s something unplanned but always the glorious activity
    Thank you for the chance to experience its taste once again. I apologize for my Lithuanian English, but hope for your success to manage my grammar mistakes.

    Like

  2. Alexander M Zoltai December 7, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Tomas,

    It’s always a breath of fresh air when I read one of your comments :-)

    I truly love your remark: “Publishing is the inevitable – is like a breathing, like the signature of being alive.”

    I want to use that idea to inspire my blog post tomorrow………

    Like

  3. cmmarcum December 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Well, congratulations again. You’ve made me pause long enough to consider this question. Yes to 1 – 7. I want a lot, but I’ll settle for less, sometimes. In asking what readers want, one can only judge by using their own criteria.

    Although I read many genres, rarely do I go shopping without a particular kind of book in mind. Call it: I’m-in-the-mood-for-this-or-that. So, let’s say I’m shopping for a particular subject matter, ergo a book with that material needs to scream at me: I am the genre that you are looking for!!!

    Only after I’ve been flagged down, will I open to the first chapter. Now is not the time to be coy with me. Don’t give me a long set-up. Don’t give me talking heads. Don’t fling your character in my face and expect me to fall in love. I want instant orientation: Where am I? What time is it? What’s happening? What will I learn from this book? Yes, I’d say a book has to start with action, before I will buy it. Also, I will judge the entire book by the first page–and many a book has been snapped closed in less than 30 to 60 seconds.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai December 9, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      Thanks for the encouraging, “made me pause”, C. M. That’s high-praise on the Internet

      Good to know you hear books screaming at you — whoot :-)

      My, your criteria for acceptance is on the high end of desire. Not bad, to be sure, and I wonder, as the flux in publishing continues, how factors like your acceptance-criteria could be channeled to authors………

      Like

      • cmmarcum December 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm

        I’m disposed to the believe that only those who seek knowledge can find it. One might trip over the truth, but one never stumbles on wisdom. Hey, I just made that up. Sounds deep, doesn’t it? :) I’m also disposed to conversations on any topic about writing. I mean, I can blog about something, but that’s not a conversation.

        Like

        • Alexander M Zoltai December 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm

          Gee, C. M., the way you put words together sounds just like you could be a writer — Whoot :-)

          Like

  4. Pingback: Are Readers The Winners In The New Publishing Game? « Notes from An Alien

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