SF&F Research

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  ASeDa 3 months ago.

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  • #346466

    Anonymous

    Hello, my name is Andrew and I wish to publish a book series. I am in the begging steps towards the goal. The genre will be Epic/High Fantasy with Hard Fantasy and Hard Science Fiction to explain both technology and magic. This will put my book series under Science Fiction and Fantasy or speculative fiction. That is why I am writing this post today, my goal is to figure out my audience and to understand what they want.

    The survey I created was inspired by Tina Dubinsky. I found her article at http://tinadubinsky.com/fantasy-readers/ and was a great start in my journey to finding my audience. My survey comes in two parts, a copy and paste of Tina’s survey and then a second part on themes I wish to include in my series. I am looking for 200-300 respondents of my survey and while I can get updates on Tina’s results I wish to have my own data. ‘

    With that said my own survey is located at https://goo.gl/forms/zG1XzkpH9V7P3dGx1 . For those reading this post and are willing to take part of my survey I would like to make one more request. Since Tina’s article was a great start in finding my audience I would like those who take my survey to take Tina’s as well. You can find it at the bottom of her web article which explains the data she gathered so aspiring writers like myself can understand SF&F fans better.

  • #654396

    Anonymous

    Looked at the survey. Don’t see how it is going to help you find an audience.
    The audience seems to be already defined as whoever wants to read epic/high fantasy with hard stuff thrown in, or F&SF or speculative fiction.

    You might do better on some Scifi site where there are a lot more potential readers.
    I suspect that our interests here are all over the place and wont be very useful to your questions.

    Maybe you will get a taker that can provide some data.
    That is a very long questionnaire and imho too detailed to be useful at all.

    FWIW Tina has tabluated a lot of data. I would just use that as being as good as you are going to get.

  • #654397

    Anonymous

    That was pretty much my impression as well. I am a sci-fi fan, but that survey only told me you are probably incapable of producing anything decent with your apparent current strategy. It screamed at me the whole way through that any answer I provide will only be put to the purpose to remixing old, exhausted concepts to just dump on the world as a new brand. As if there isn’t enough of that already? I have deeply conflicted feelings about supporting your strategy…

    The only input I can provide is that if you’re not creating from inspiration, you are not creating at all. If you are creating from inspiration, people’s opinions are irrelevant.

  • #654398

    Anonymous
    Carl Slate wrote:
    That was pretty much my impression as well. I am a sci-fi fan, but that survey only told me you are probably incapable of producing anything decent with your apparent current strategy. It screamed at me the whole way through that any answer I provide will only be put to the purpose to remixing old, exhausted concepts to just dump on the world as a new brand. As if there isn’t enough of that already? I have deeply conflicted feelings about supporting your strategy…

    The only input I can provide is that if you’re not creating from inspiration, you are not creating at all. If you are creating from inspiration, people’s opinions are irrelevant.

    It is also bad statistics. Example of Simpson’s paradox. If the writer uses all of the most preferred items singly he will not get a combination that means anybody likes all of them as a group. He should just write a good story and not worry about trying to outguess his audience this way.

  • #654399

    Anonymous

    Yeah, I’m kinda in agreement with the posts above. Trying to pick what a potential audience will like and writing to that – well, you probably won’t satisfy the audience you think you’re writing for, and you definitely won’t satisfy yourself. Consider your audience to be readers that like the stuff you like – then just write a story you’d want to read.

  • #654400

    GidgetLindley8
    Participant

    Interesting strategy.

  • #654401

    ASeDa
    Participant

    While I certainly cannot claim any special knowledge here, I can offer an opinion (clearly stated as such).

    Your survey concept is sort of like closing a barn door after the animals have escaped. When you picked a genre, you picked an audience. Not trying to be mean here, but asking what the readers want implies that you have no ideas of your own for a story. You certainly can try to “give the readers what they want” but there is no polite way to express what it sounds like – a public transaction for gratification. The best writers (or at least, the best of those whose interviews I have read) all make it a point that your story must be YOUR story. In the old tear-jerker movie “I Remember Mama” the advice was simple: Write what you know.

    I wish to emphasize that I do NOT want to dampen your enthusiasm for writing. I hope to heck that you have a successful writing career. But don’t go overboard trying to please anyone but yourself. Don’t worry about what other people want. A good story sells itself. A bad story written to reader specifications is still a bad story that isn’t worth the medium of publication.

    Good luck!

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