Caution - this is loooong. I go through all the results, what conclusions I've drawn from them and then how we'll be responding. I've front-loaded this with the more general information, as that's of use to more people (publishers, blogs, etc) and it gets more specific to Pornokitsch as it goes down. I've been really detailed about this - including a lot of spelling out my thinking - because a) it is fun and b) there's a chance it'll help other bloggers/websites/small publishers. As always, please join in the comments with your own conclusions and recommendations!
Last month, we shared around a survey about "reading short fiction online". We wanted to learn about people's reading habits and also, more specifically, get feedback around our weekly fiction project.
People were really kind about sharing the links around online, so it only seems right to share the results as well. We had a shade under 300 total respondents, about 60% from UK (and about 20% US, with South Africa, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Ireland, Finland and Australia all featuring repeatedly as well).
The first question (slightly awkwardly phrased) is about how people like to consume their digital, short fiction.
A few lessons:
- Desktop ain't dead. Online fiction in the browser window is still the way to go. Possibly hidden behind the spreadsheets you're supposed to be working on.
- That said, mobile devices are key. At 45%, mobile browsers were a popular pick. We had actually guessed this ahead of time, and held off launching our fiction until our site was moved to a responsive template. And this is also why we don't include heavy-weight imagery with the stories. As much as we'd like to have them, the mobile experience is important.
- The dominance of Kindle over 'other e-reader' isn't a surprise.
- What was a surprise? The relative unpopularity of email. Perhaps we're just old-fashioned, but the idea of having stories delivered feels like a touch of luxury. This may, however, be a sign of how little fiction is delivered by email (see below).