Survey Says…and a #giveaway

by Barb, happily typing away in Portland, Maine

Halloween Party Murder Advance Reader Copies are here! These are uncorrected proofs of the novella collection with stories by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and me that will be released on August 31, 2021. I’m giving away one copy of the ARC to two lucky commenters below.

When Shucked Apart was published in February, I conducted a giveaway for a print of my new map of Busman’s Harbor, Maine. When people responded with their names and physical addresses for mailing, we asked them a few (entirely voluntary) survey questions. I thought you might be interested in the answers.

In all, 522 people requested the physical maps, which was, weirdly, almost the exact number I had estimated. The vast majority chose to answer the survey questions. As a survey sample, the responders have to be viewed as unscientific. Unless “people on Barbara Ross’s mailing list, who care about the Maine Clambake Mysteries enough they want a map/and or love maps and/or can’t resist free stuff,” can be taken as a sample.

Here are the results.

How will you read Shucked Apart?

  • Audiobook 4%
  • Ebook 46%
  • Mass max paperback 50%

How will you access the book?

  • Amazon 50%
  • Independent bookstore 8%
  • Library 19%
  • Other large retailer (B&N, Chapters/Indigo, Walmart, etc.) 21%
  • Share with or gift from a relative, friend, etc. 2%

Have you read the previous 8 books in the series?

  • None 9%
  • Some, but not all 30%
  • Yes to the books, no to the novellas, 20%
  • Yes to all of them 41%

The one statistic that surprised me was the 9%, approximately 50 people, who wanted the map, but had read none of the books. I had assumed that the people who would order the map would be diehard fans, especially as it is freely viewable online.

A glance at the comments section, however, indicated that many of these people had some or all of the books sitting in their TBR piles or ebook libraries and saw the map as motivation to dig the books out and read them. I hope it worked!

Speaking of the comments section, there were so many lovely, lovely comments about the series. I blush. Thanks everyone who commented so very much.

Readers: Do any of the survey results surprise you? Comment below or just say “hi” to be entered to win an ARC of Halloween Party Murder.

94 Thoughts

  1. I LOVE the map and Shucked Apart is at the peak of the bedside mountain. Alas, the Paperwhite queue of past-due Booksprout ARCs and the (currently) 7,988 unread emails are keeping me from it.

      1. Can’t believe the ones who haven’t read the whole series.I have read them all and now getting into Jane .I want to live in Busmans Harbor. Love the anthologies too. My favorite author was Mary Higgins Clark. I now have you Barb and Leslie Meier.Love books about Maine.Also Karen Mac Kernerey. Grey Whale Inn and Farm series.Please keep writing about the Harbor and Jane.Love and Hugs. PS maybe Cape Cod too.

  2. I love the map. I love this series too. I enjoy these short stories too. I think I’ve read most of them. Thank you for the chance! pgenest57 at aol dot com

  3. I’m surprised by the 21% figure for other outlets. I would have expected it to be higher.

    The map is gorgeous. It would be a fabulous addition to someone’s wall art as a stand-alone. I have read the books so it has a greater meaning for me, but the context is not required with something that pretty.

  4. Not surprised at all! It’s a great series and most people love a freebie!

  5. Maybe it is because I’m a confirmed Dead Tree Reader, but I was a little surprised that 46% of the people who responded said they were going to read it via an e-reader.

  6. Interesting results, Barb. Thanks for sharing them. I feel bad for the indy bookstores, but I know a lot of people don’t have access to one.

  7. I was surprised that more readers read paperback versus ebooks. I read both but if I was given a choice I choose paperbacks so I was glad to see others preferred paperbacks.

    1. I was a little surprised by that, too. Over the life of the book, there are many more ebook sales than paperback, but in the beginning paperbacks are popular.

  8. I love that map!!! I can’t say I’m surprised at any of the survey results but I do have to note that, as someone who thought they’d never be able to enjoy ebooks, I have become an avid ebook reader. That has surprised me!

  9. I agree with others here, I was happily surprised about the 50% reading paperbacks. The Ebooks are OK, but I still enjoy tremendously having a “real” book in my hands. The map is so lovely and looks great in a frame on the wall! It is a work of art! 🙂

  10. I’m surprised the audio figures are in the single digits. I figured they’d be higher with the rise of audio. Like Edith, seeing the low figure for indy bookstores is disheartening, but I know many readers don’t have access to one.

    1. I’ve never sold well in audio. If you asked about a different series, for example Jessie’s, you’d get completely different percentages.

  11. Love your books and always looking forward to the next one!

    The one surprise to me was that only 2% said they would share with or gift from a relative, friend, etc. I for one love to share with friends and relatives books that I love to read. I’ve even been able to hook one or two on reading by doing so. When I enjoy a book, I love to help the author promote their books so others can find the joy in their books like I do. By sharing a book, the author may lose one sale, but you might be introducing them to a new author that they will be looking for the next book or enjoy it so much that they look for past books. That only 2% marked this one really was shocking to me – or maybe I am reading the question wrong.

    Thank you for the chance to win an ARC copy of “Halloween Party Murder”!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  12. Who wouldn’t be interested in that lovely map? Thanks for sharing your survey results, and congrats on the upcoming release!

  13. I’m surprised that 46% would read as ebook. Maybe because I prefer print books.

  14. I’m surprised at how small a percent will get it from the library.

    1. I thought that was a pretty healthy number for a mass market paperback. If it were hardcover, I’d expect the library number to be much higher.

  15. I wasn’t really surprised. I am glad that there’s a lot of other people like me who like to read a physical book. I have won books in the middle of a series that I haven’t read and after I read it I end up buying the prior books and the ones that follow because I like it so much. It’s a good way to hook me on a series and fill up the shelves in my library at home.

  16. Thanks for the survey results, which are fascinating!

    What surprised me was that 20% of participants said Yes to reading all the books, but No to the novellas.

    Once you read one of your books, it is impossible in my mind to not comb the literary world seeking anything written by you, Barb. Our book club has now read everything Barbara Ross. I am the researcher in the group, and found even your short stories published in books that practically had your name hidden in them:-)

    Hopefully your survey has enticed that 20% to do some searching for your wonderful novellas and then delight in reading them.

    Can’t wait for HALLOWEEN PARTY MURDER and your novella SCARED OFF!!! Thank you for continuing to write and share the fun with us!

    1. I am like that, too! If I find an author I love I will scour the world for everything they have written. Scared Off has echoes of a previous short story, btw.

  17. I’m not too surprised with the survey answers. I strictly read paperbacks and hard copy books, so it’s encouraging to see that there are still a lot of print readers around. As for that charming map, I’m certain that readers who haven’t bought the books in any form yet will be intrigued and want to visit the world of Busman’s Harbor and get acquainted with it’s inhabitants. This will create long-time devotees like me. I’m looking forward to reading Halloween Party Murder and everything else you have coming in the future.

  18. I’ve read them all, some as paperbacks, some on my e-reader, but I wish there were a way to share a digital book. It seems such a waste to just delete the book when I’m finished with it. And I love, love, love the map! Thanks so much.

  19. The number of people reading mass market paperbacks surprised me, I thought ebooks would be higher. I prefer mass market paperbacks because they are more affordable so I can buy more books. Great map and series. Looking forward to reading the anthology.

  20. Like you, I would assume that only the die hard fans would want the map. And even then, not all die hard fans would. I’m a die hard fan, but I wasn’t sure what I would do with the map, so I figured the online version would be good enough for me.

    Especially since you got it wrong in the map. That’s not how things look at all! 😉

    (I’ll get an ARC from the publisher, so don’t enter me in the drawing.)

  21. Hi! I’m just surprised that out of the e-readers, the number isn’t higher for those accessing the books through B&N. I guess I really am in the stone age. I can’t part with my Nook though, Do you have any idea of what my library would be valued at?!

  22. Based on the percentage for print books, I was expecting the share percentage to be higher.

  23. Ooh, I would love to win! The series is one of my favorites!!

  24. I am a little surprised by the numbers for B&N/Walmart/Target/etc., and for the independent bookstores. I guess I would have thought them to be a bit higher.

  25. I have diligently followed you and read all of your books since you were kind enough to attend the Wes Murder Myster Conference I ran. How can I send you a picture of the map proudly hanging next to my desk in my new cottage in Wells, Maine! So excited!

  26. please send to Barbara.  Keep writing. i enjoy all of your books. Thanks! 

  27. Never having used Amazon for anything, I was a little surprised that so many use it. I buy paperbacks or e-books at Barnes & Noble. Thanks for the chance. Stay safe and well.

  28. Yes and no. I’m surprised so many people have not read any of the books, but I get that having a physical map would be motivation to get involved in the series…also a great bit of art for the library. Bonus! I missed out on that post, but maybe I can print the digital version for our library.
    I have been worried about all of the ebooks putting paperbacks …well…out of print! I read physical books, I’m so glad there are many like me that love having the books to proudly display and share with family and friends.

  29. Hello. No, it does not surprise me that most people looked at the map, then decided to read the books. Thank you for the opportunity. I love to have a print book in my hand.

  30. I have read all of the books and loved seeing the map as I had one in my mind’s eye. This was way better and helped set up the stories. I di not like the end of Shucked Up though.

  31. Actually yes. I received a copy of the map because I have all the books and wanted to keep the map with all the paperbacks I have bought. I prefer the print book versus the ebook versions. I would think people would want a map that relates to the books. I have bought all of the paperbooks and I hope you have a few more books in this series to come in the near future.

  32. I love these books with multiple stories and all the authors that contribute!

  33. I think some people just like to get something good in the mail!

  34. I have my map sitting up near my lap top . I look at it often. Thank you. I like “real” books but currently read only e books. I can adjust the size of an e book. lol. The survey results are a bit surprising but about spot on.

  35. I love the map. I will be hanging it in my office which is decorated in a nautical theme. I live in Idaho now but was born in Maine so the things in my office remind me of my childhood living by the sea. Thanks for the map and for writing wonderful books.

  36. Moved to a new house last November that has built in bookshelves. There is a spot on the wall in that room waiting for me to get the map framed. Thank you!

  37. Love that map! Surprising survey results.

    Thanks for the chance 🙂

  38. I love the map!!! Interesting survey results for sure. Thanks for the chance!

  39. Hi Barb,
    All your books are amazing! The map is awesome too! I love it!!
    Thank you for the chance to win your wonderful giveaway!!!
    Have a wonderful day!!!

  40. Loved being part of the survey. I was one of those who the complete series in order on a binge.

  41. What I was surprised by was that the real books still outnumbered the e books., though barely. I want a physical book. I use my kindle for trips when I can’t take a lot of books. I probably have 300 books in this house to read and I will not get to all of the, but I will get to read most of my favorites. But they will all stay part of a home library that my friend and I share.

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