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it came out of the wordwork

In the midst of stuff: a report on the poll
Lord Black Cat
Approx answers to our poll of last week of the readers in the peanut gallery....

* methodology: we sat here with cookies and eggnog and cats after a big meal, with music on in the background and with interruptions like phone calls from family and running outside to move cars for the plow guy. This is a genuwine hightick poll with extreme accuracy, you betcha. Basically, I'm interested in the general reactions, this being one of those self-selected respondent groups.

Would you rather read:
a theme anthology 40
a year's best anthology 6
it depends* -- about 11

So, I figure that's about 7 to one in favor of theme anthologies. Might explain why there are a lot of theme anthologies. Of course publishers do seem to think Best Of Year anthologies are prestigious...

In a bookstore would you rather buy:
a new novel by someone you've heard of but never read 38
a new novel by someone you've never heard of 9
*it depends .... many variations

We have some evidence here that “Getting your name out there” is a useful thing for new authors to do.

Would you more likely buy:
a novel set in a tie-in universe
a novel set in an original universe

SO... it was a confusing question as i wrote it, but hey, that's what you get with conversational tone polls written of f the top of my head. In general tie-ins lost out, I think.

the first thing you notice about a new author is:
the title of the book is good 28
the cover art of the book is good 18
* other – publisher/packaging 5
the gender of the author 3?

Another one for our side. Attention publishers: make titles visible! Attention art directors: use readable typography as well as interesting art.

When it comes to cover blurbs you:
almost always read them
almost always ignore them
read them if they're by authors you like
always think they waste space
consider writing to the blurbers and ask them what were they drinking when they wrote the blurb, and where can you get some of *that*?

This question .... might make an interesting essay topic some day. Lots of people do read blurbs, some explicitly avoid them; some use them as entertainment in their own right. Enough comments came in to indicate good flap copy and back-cover copy is also important and some would rather see more information and less selling on the book covers.

Do you go to book signings?

Book signings are iffy for you folks 14 Yes/ 26 No, and a lot of it depends. .... Hmmmm. Odd how many of our fans we've met at signings.

Are you a member of the BTC -- that is, the Book Turners Club?

What can I say: a very mixed bag, often ignored.

Do you go to science fiction conventions? 28 Yes/19 No and a bunch of “used to” “can't any longer” “we don't have any, would if I could.”

I think this is interesting, given the book signing answer; of course a lot of the people we've met at signings may well have been at conventions instead of bookstores – it can be hard to recall.

If yes above, do you go because particular guests will attend, or for the general fun of it? Do you have a "home" convention?

Looks like a split between the “go for the authors” and the “go for general fun” ...
I wonder if there's an age bias in these answers. Heck, I wonder if there is an age bias in all of these answers ... but I'm not going to try to mount that poll right now...

And one last question...
do you listen to podcasts?

This was pretty mixed. Some do, some don't, some will, some won't. An area for more experimentation, I'm thinking.

Yep – I may have left a question off. Ran out of cookies and eggnog.

Thanks for participating. And yes, some people did answer on the FoL list and some elsewhere in email, not all answers reflect 100% of respondents.