Hello, everybody! So, you may recall that a few weeks ago I put up a link to a survey about my series, which I then expanded out to my newsletter and put up on my blog. I closed the survey Monday to take a look through the information I got, which took a bit more effort than I expected, but it is rather interesting, so I thought I’d share some of it. I should note that I got 117 responses in total, and not all questions got that many responses. In fact, the ‘What is your favorite single book(if any)?’ question got 77 responses, and I got about 40 comments in the last question. Now, on to what people had to say, hm? I should note that I erased any information in my pictures which might be able to identify the ‘Other’ comments.
First up, the favorite series was incredibly lopsided, but that only happened about halfway through the survey. My choice to put up the survey about the time Crisis of Faith released probably skewed the results somewhat, but Ancient Dreams has had an ironclad hold on my ‘most profitable series’ ever since it was released. Only two people voted for Mantles of Power, which left it behind Second Contact, and tells me what I already knew, that Mantles of Power isn’t the best series in my bibliography. One person refused to choose, but I’m not surprised. Nothing’s wrong with refusing to choose.
Now, what the favorite individual books were? That chart was unusable, I’m afraid, so I collated the data manually, and two books were the winners by far. Ancient Ruins got a staggering 18 votes out of 77, while Marin’s Codex got 16, which is surprising to me, given how few sales it’s had comparatively. In distant third place was Sting & Song, with 8 votes, and most of the rest of the books had 2-4 votes on average (and there were 7 people who voted for multiple books).
Next up we have the favorite aspect of the series! I had a lot of people use Other to state multiple main choices, and you might notice that Dialogue and Interactions isn’t shown, but it’s one of the single-vote slices on the right of the pie chart. Mostly, this showed me that I might need to work on character dialogue a bit, but that continuing with the oddball main characters (and lesbian romance) is definitely the way to go. There were a few other interesting comments, but those are more for the comments section.
Now, this is the chart that surprised me the most. I’m not surprised that Mantles of Power got no votes (the slice of green was an ‘Other’ comment), but what surprised me was how evenly split Ancient Dreams, Lilith’s Shadow, and Through the Fire are, particularly after the Favorite Series question up above. With 116 votes, them being that close is about as good as them all being equal. Considering how recently Sting & Song came out, and there only being one book, it has a startling percentage of the votes, which is quite interesting. It gave me some thoughts… but those will be mentioned after the comments section.
The comments section for me was a bit difficult to parse, and it took me the longest of any section. Most people’s comments were short, but a few were extremely long, and took a little time to go through. I read all of them, though, and have them saved to refer back to. What I ended up doing was distilling each comment down to the different points it tried to make (if any), and tallied up how many comments addressed each point. Here is the list of things people liked or wanted that were mentioned more than once, with how many times they were mentioned before the aspect.
- 5 Adventurers/Dungeons
- 5 Through the Fire
- 3 Beesong Chronicles
- 3 Kitsune (Specifically Korima)
- 3 Lesbian Romance
- 3 Lilith’s Shadow
- 2 Ancient Dreams
- 2 Monogamy (desire for)
- 2 More Powerful Main Characters
- 2 Polyamory
- 2 Slice of Life
- 2 Worldbuilding
I will say, just because something wasn’t mentioned multiple times doesn’t mean I ignored it. Some things made me think about stuff I’ve slacked off on, other things I just am not interested in. However, this gives me a fair amount to think on.
There were three comments I wanted to address directly, though. Not by quoting them, but because they either amused me, or because they seemed important.
First off, someone mentioned that I might like the web comic Mage x Demon Queen. As a matter of fact, I’ve been keeping up with the comic, and think it’s hilarious. For those who don’t know about it, it’s a comic about a young female mage with a massive crush on the demon queen, and all of the silliness that ensues. It’s in a LitRPG world, so she usually gets sent off by the demon queen via death, and resurrects back in town.
Another person asked if I have an email for fan mail, and I do! My public email is BenjaminPMedrano@gmail.com , and I list it in the front of each of my books, as well as on my website. I check it frequently as well, so you can contact me there.
The third comment is one I don’t have a good answer to, unfortunately. The comment was that they’d prefer the audiobook versions of books came out close to at the same time as ebooks. The blunt truth? I probably can’t afford it. The regular release of books keeps my income at a relatively stable level, but it dips hard between releases, and if I were to time the books to come out at the same time as an audiobook, the books would come out 2-6 months later than they currently do, depending on the narrator’s schedule. You’ve likely realized that, after I put up the audiobook survey, but it’s worth repeating. I’ll continue to produce them out as I can, but… audiobooks are expensive, running around $3,000+ for books of the length I write, which is more than I usually spend on cover art and editing for an entire trilogy.
The data I’ve received isn’t perfect, that much is obvious. It has helped me clear up some questions of which books are most beloved, as well as why they were so heavily enjoyed. It also shows that I’m probably on the right track with writing for Lilith’s Shadow, and I’m probably going to return to Through the Fire as soon as is reasonable.
All that said, I also can’t guarantee that I’m going to only write in the handful of series which I have out. My muse would outright rebel at a certain point, so I’m going to branch out on occasion, like I did with Sting & Song. For now, nothing is changing for Lilith’s Shadow, save for me putting some more thought into aspects that people brought up and trying to adjust things on the back end. The Beesong Chronicles definitely isn’t going to be stopped, at least not before I have the full series arc complete.
Thank you for filling out the survey! It is helpful!