Sunday, June 07, 2009

Poll Results Are In!

I'd like to thank the 102 readers who voted for the things that make them keep returning to their favorite book blogs. I really enjoy everyone's input, and I certainly file away all the info you're giving me when you vote!

The top two choices were
  • A unique personality and writing style. (67)
  • It's all about the book reviews. (64)
It would seem from this poll that people visit book blogs for reviews that are written with personality and style. Readers aren't looking for a Sergeant Friday Approach (Just the facts, ma'am), but one that mixes the objective with a touch of the subjective. If you read a really creepy book that scared you so badly you screamed when the phone rang, which then made the cat jump clear over the couch and avoid you for the next two all means, let your readers know!

The next two choices were
  • The content is updated regularly. (49)
  • Personal posts that let me get to know the blogger. (42)
Bookaholics are notorious for wanting a steady diet of new titles for their wish lists and to-be-read stacks. If your blog isn't updated regularly, chances are that readers will stop coming by. With personal posts ranking so highly in the poll, if you get some wonderful news, you don't have to worry if it's not book related. Your readers like to see the blogger behind the reviews!

The third tier of choices were
  • Fun and/or interesting weekly features. (29)
  • Clean, easy to navigate pages. (26)
I think of these choices as "icing on the cake"; it's nice if they're present, but they aren't essential. You can have one of the best weekly features in the known universe, but (according to this poll), your blog has to have the meat and potatoes as well as that piece of pie.

The least-voted-for choices were
  • Contests and giveaways. (11)
  • Publishing and other book-related news. (11)
  • Author interviews and blog tours. (7)
This poll has made me wonder if I've got a readership that thinks along the same lines I do. I don't wish to hurt anyone's feelings, but when I go through all the posts in my Google Reader, I fly past contests, giveaways, author interviews and blog tours. I haven't won anything since the last Ice Age, so contests and giveaways are out. I'm interested in publishing and book-related news, but whenever I post anything about those topics, readers seldom comment, so I've moved that information to my weekly link round-ups. I will read author interviews when I'm interested in the author, but that seldom happens. (This probably says a lot more about me than the featured authors!) And blog tours just leave me cold. It drives me crazy to move from blog to blog to blog and see the same book, the same author. There's got to be a better way of getting new books on everyone's radar!

But then you know what they say about opinions, don't you? Everybody's got one, and my opinion won't generate enough cash to pay for your next trip to Starbucks!

Thanks again to everyone who voted in this poll. Your votes always make me dust off the thinking cap!


  1. I really enjoy reading your blog but this is my first comment (I do vote in your polls though:)) I think your blog reflects the top two choices perfectly. I look forward to your Saturday Soliliquys and Scene of the Blogs every week. The results of this poll are fascinating.

  2. Good poll Cathy.
    And I like the new one too

  3. Very interesting. I fly past contests, author interviews and blog tours too - I may look at giveaways if the book looks interesting, but rarely enter.

    I can't decide on your new poll - I dislike all those points.

  4. Well these poll results definitely agree with my preferences. I also blow by contestes and giveaways. I can't remember that last time I read an author interview. Blog tours seem to have a couple of different patterns to me. Those that make the rounds over a few weeks or months are the least annoying. I'll usually read the first few, but by then I've decided whether or not I'm going to read the book. The blog tours where the same book is reviewed on a long list of blogs on the same day are the ones that I never read. When I open my google reader and see multiples of the same book on the same day, I just automatically mark them all as read and don't read a single one. I know this marketing strategy must work for some people, but for me it's a complete turnoff. Rather than making me interested in the book, it makes me more likely to avoid the book.

    I'm going to have a tough time deciding on the new poll. I don't see an 'all of the above' option :-)

  5. Very interesting poll results. I didn't know that many people liked personal posts - I mainly stuck to just book reviews - but since my reading has slowed down a bit - maybe some personal posts would get me by. I just didn't think anybody would be interested in reading them.

    I don't like blog tours either - I usually just mark them read and go on. I do like the author interviews - just me being nosy!! LOL.

    I too wish you had an "all of the above" choice - but I did pick my top three!!

  6. This poll was not only interesting but also helpful. I'm in a minority here as I like most blog tours. I will confess to not reading all of then but if my favorite bloggers are on the list I will check them out. If I like a book, I'm not above trying to win it. After all, free is free. I feel the same way about ARCs. If it's not something I think I'll like, free is not an enticement. Keep doing the polls. They add a lot to your blog and the community.

  7. Great write up! The results are definitely thought provoking.

  8. Book Psmith--Thank you so much for commenting! I will always try to be worthy of your praise!

    Kerrie--Thanks! (Kerrie's the person who gave me the incentive to try polls on my blog, folks!)

    Margaret--I'm glad I'm not the only one who avoids those types of posts. They seem so popular that I've always believed I was in a minority.

    SuziQ--I'm glad I'm not the only person who thinks that blitz attack is a turn-off. I know I was mean leaving out the "all of the above" choice! ;)

    Kara--I learned that many people like the "personal" touch on blogs and it surprised me, too. Guess I was using the Joe Friday Approach. As long as the personal doesn't outweigh the books, I think it's great--one of the best ways for your readers to decide if they really want to pay attention to your opinions or not.

    Margot--Thanks so much for your vote of confidence in the poll feature. I just hope I can continue to think of interesting poll questions!

    Thanks, Beth!


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