In October 2012 we sought feedback on what’s working with this whole Verity La caper and what we could do better.
To this end, we designed a very simple, ten-question online survey. Due to the generosity of survey sponsor Text Publishing, respondents went into the draw for a set of ten Australian classics and new releases – check out our survey page for all the titles that were up for grabs. The winner of the book prize was Alex Finlayson from Queensland.
At the close of the survey, after a month of promotion and activity, there were 60 respondents. In the Verity La community, there are currently 156 subscribers (and rising), 184 followers on Twitter, and 93 have liked our Facebook page, meaning a total of 433 members. In this context, the respondents equated to 14% of our total community.
The main messages that came through the survey:
- 42% of respondents consider themselves regular readers (as the question rather cheekily suggested, they ‘can’t get enough’), and 45% consider themselves irregular readers
- 42% of respondents most enjoy short fiction, 29% poetry, and 13% interviews
- 24.5% would like to see more poetry, 18.5% more interviews, and 18.5% more short fiction
- almost half of respondents (47%) visit Verity La weekly
- the main way readers engage with us is through being subscribers (68%), followed by 28.6% through Facebook. 20% prefer to visit us whenever they feel like it. It’s interesting to note that while we have twice as many follows on Twitter than Facebook, only 16% engage with us through Twitter. Might Twitter be a good means of broadcasting news, but not a great way of actually engaging readers?
- in terms of the one thing we could do better, the majority of respondents simply told us to keep going. However, key issues raised included the need to pay contributors (more of this further down this list), enhanced website interactivity (don’t worry: we’re on the case), the need to positively encourage submissions, and a greater focus on new voices. But we can’t resist publishing some of our favourite responses: ‘I would like to see the name Verity La spread far and wide’, and ‘stay there when others disappear’, and ‘pretty hot’
- the vast majority of respondents – 77% – consider themselves both readers and writers
- 90% of readers are in Australia, with 10% being based overseas – it’s nice to know that we’re making inroads onto the international stage
- only 7% said they’d be interested in donating money to help pay contributors; 68.5% said ‘ask me again in 2013’, which we will
Please note that we specifically didn’t ask about age and gender, because we didn’t want to make judgements based on these arbitrary – and ultimately useless – characteristics.
A HUGE THANKS to all those who participated. We appreciate the time you took in replying to the survey and the frankness of your responses. We’ll consider all the results as we move into our third year and continue to grow and develop and adapt.
If you’d like to be a closer part of what we’re doing, please subscribe – it’s free, and you’re letting us know that what we’re doing is valued.
All of us here at Verity La HQ.