Do You Love Your Publisher? An Author Survey

Do You Love Your Publisher

[This survey is now closed.]

Are you a traditionally published author? Then please keep reading.

In partnership with Harry Bingham of Jericho Writers in the UK, we’re launching a survey of traditionally published authors, regardless of whether or not they have also self-published.

Our goal is to see how traditionally published authors are feeling about the choices now available. We aim to be unbiased; we’re not looking for strongly positive or strongly negative responses. As much as possible, we want to get responses from those who have recently worked with traditional publishers, and derive a truthful impression of what authors think.

Your participation will be completely anonymous. We’ll collect responses for four weeks, then close the survey and release the results.

Please help spread the word in the communities where you’re active—whether that’s a private message board, Facebook group, Twitter, or elsewhere. The more experiences we can survey, the stronger and more accurate picture we’ll have.

We’re also using a Twitter hashtag to help everyone follow along with the results and spread the word to authors: #authorsay.

Thank you for participating!

Posted in Publishing Industry.

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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Survey Says: Most Agents Don’t Want to “Peddle” Self-Pubbed BooksDo You Love Your Publisher: Author Survey Results | Jane FriedmanGrumbling, but not quitting: what authors really think of publishers | Agent HunterRysa WalkerSelf Pubs and Trad Pubs: Couldn’t You At Least Talk To Each Other? | Beyond Paper Editing Recent comment authors

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[…] Jane Friedman is the former Writer’s Digest publisher who now teaches at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She is a former faculty member of the University of Cincinnati, and co-founded with Manjula Martin the quarterly magazine about the business of writing, Scratch. You can find the survey at her site here. […]

Maggie Lynch

Hello Jane and others involved in the creation of this survey. I am someone who always welcomes data in order to provide useful input into decision-making and to provide the potential for change in an industry. In general I thought the survey was interesting and I would like to see the results. There are several things regarding this survey, however, that make me question its efficacy. I do understand that every survey has to strike a balance between what it needs to capture to prove or disprove the hypothesis used in its construction and the prescribed limitation of the wide… Read more »


I thought the questions were good and I enjoyed taking the survey. I’ll be very curious to see the results.


[…] survey is a joint venture between Agent Hunter, our sister site, and Jane Friedman in the US. Our aim is simply to get the most authoritative possible view of the industry from the […]

Dave Malone (@dzmalone)

This was great and happy to share. I’ll be curious about the results.


Published by St. Martin’s, Doubleday, Ten Speed, Bloomsbury, Harper, and others. I live off my advances. I don’t earn out. I still from $25,000 to (okay, once) $250,000 per book. I’m shit at self-promotion because I don’t like people. Also care about nothing but writing and my daughters. I don’t want to know the difference between Smashwords and lobo and Amazon. So self-publishing isn’t a good fit, overall.

I’d have been interested to see questions about social media. I’ve dipped my toes in a few times, and am impressed by the degree of toxicity. Truly a horrific, if saccharine-coated, poison.

Maggie Lynch

Thanks for your response, Jane. I suspect I over-think the questions. I do want to be helpful but also not skew results. I did skip the question because I am no longer agented, and the trad contracts I have were done without an agent. Still definitely interested in results. I’m a data geek and with the publishing landscape constantly changing I’m always interested to see surveys and take what I can from them.


[…] Jane Friedman and Harry Bingham’s #AuthorSay survey for traditionally published authors. Its goal is “to see how traditionally published authors are […]

Rysa Walker

Interesting survey, but I agree that several questions are problematic. The agent questions Maggie noted are one example–they need an N/A option. Otherwise, any comparisons you might make (for example, author satisfaction with publisher compared to author satisfaction with agent) will be flawed. Also, a few questions seem to assume an animosity between “traditionally published” and Amazon, when there is a growing number of authors who are traditionally published *by* Amazon.


[…] the start of March, Jane Friedman and I launched the English-speaking world’s most comprehensive survey of what authors think […]


[…] you look at my original post announcing the survey, you’ll find a few commenters who felt the line of questioning made some bad assumptions. […]


[…] the firms that publish them.”  The survey, done in conjunction with indie publishing expert Jane Friedman, “invited the views of traditionally published authors only, whether or not they had also […]