What do readers want?

If only we knew! I had a surprise success with Aftercare. It was a surprise because, while I liked Aftercare, I didn’t particularly like it better than any of my other books, and it was a strange conglomeration of potentially heavy topics. One guy’s husband had died. The other guy’s brother was on trial for killing his boyfriend. It’s BDSM, but not trope-laden BDSM. There was nothing about it that screamed success.

Recently, I learned about a fun tool called EngageForm where you can make personality quizzes like “what kind of cheese are you?” I made three quizzes: one to pick a book for new readers, one to match readers with a “book boyfriend,” and one to match kinks with stories. Each quiz steers you to one of six potential outcomes,  mostly to my more popular books.

I thought the quizzes would be a fun way to interact with new readers at my GRL table, but GRL turned out to be too face-paced for that. But I did publish the quizzes in a few places online. The kink quiz got a lot of use from the MM Taboo group on FB. People like taking them. Maybe they even pick up a book as a result.

But I also got something less expected out of the results: I learned why people like Aftercare. At least, I got to see that Aftercare was the most common outcome for two of the three quizzes and I got to see which answers people were choosing that led them that way, and it wasn’t just Aayan’s being billionaire. Here’s an example from the kink quiz. The question was simply “Please, Sir …”

Shows "take care of me" as the most chosen answer

“Take care of me” was the Aftercare response—selected almost half the time. There was a similar question about the perfect Dom in which “cares primarily about my pleasure” was chosen by more than 40% of respondents. Here are the answers to the corresponding question, phrased as “The perfect sub is …”

Shows "able to hold his own" as the most often chosen response

Again, that’s Aftercare at over 40%. On the “book boyfriend” quiz, Aayan won with descriptions like “tough to the world but sweet to me” and “indulgent and caretaking.” Also “tall, dark and handsome” but not by as much of a landslide. So, now I know why Aftercare is so popular, and it’s definitely not the plot! Readers like a sweet top and a strong bottom.

The EngageForm base product is free to use. There are two nice advantages of the paid version, but I can’t justify the monthly charge for them. There was a good lifetime deal on AppSumo, which is how EngageForm came to my attention in the first place, but I didn’t discover the advanced features I’d use quickly enough to take advantage of it. Maybe if it’s offered on AppSumo again next year.

One pay-only feature is the ability to add exit links to the outcome screens, so that in addition to telling the quizee which book they matched with, I could link them to it on Amazon. The other is being able to collect and export email addresses. With the free version, I can ask for an email address, but I can only see and export ten a month. I didn’t want to collect an email address and then not be able to add that person to my newsletter if they were responder #11 that month, so I didn’t add a question for that.

My three quizzes can be accessed here if you want to see how it works. And here are the full results from all three quizzes. The kink quiz got the most responses, but they mostly came from the MM Taboo group on FB where they’re extra kinky. (Aftercare answers are starred.)

I like my guys
Sweet and gooey like a cinnamon roll 13
Powerful and unforgiving 4
Confident but not an asshole 13
Tough to the world but sweet to me 41 *
Full of snarky humor 4
Champion of the underdog 23
When it comes to tops, I prefer
Sadistic and hard 13
Indulgent and caretaking 27 *
Just a little toppy 13
A woman 9
Bossy but versatile 18
Why do we need labels? 18
When it comes to bottoms, I prefer
A bit of an attitude 13
A masochist 4
A guy who’s desperate to please 0
Someone who wants it more than he can admit 32
Bottom in the bedroom only 27 *
Why do we need labels? 23
Looks-wise give me
Tall, dark and handsome 36 *
Ice price – blond and beautiful 23
He’s a wolf in his other skin 0
A polished businessman 9
Hotshot playboy and he knows it 4
Surfer boy 27
What should he do for a living?
Independently wealthy 32 *
Cop 0
Royalty 4
Celebrity 4
Have a life outside of work please 55
What should he do for fun?
Rock climbing 18
Fun? What’s fun? 5
Family 27 *
Kinky stuff 27
Run, hunt, be in nature 0
Life is one big party 23
My happy ending would involve
Lots of kinky sex 13
Being perfectly taken care of 23 *
Adventures 18
Anything, as long as it’s us 32
Fighting together for justice 9
Marriage and children 4
Pick a plot
Fight for the oppressed 25
Survive a plane crash 14
Legal battle 4 *
Espionage 21
Overcoming tragedy 21
Focus mainly on the relationship 14
What’s your favorite trope?
Coming of age 0
Stranded in a snowstorm 21
Billionnaire caretaker 21 *
He has everything except love 18
Alpha on alpha 11
Shapeshifters 28
Pick another trope
First time gay 11
Secrets revealed 21
New Dom 14 *
Cat 3
Enemies to lovers 36
Past abuse 14
How do you like your sex?
Tentative and sweet – exploratory 14
The more the merrier 25
Kink me up 36 *
Vanilla but hot 14
Like wrestling but with your dick 0
Lots and lots of knotting 11
Where do you want to go?
High school 0
Mountain top 32
New York City 25 *
Workplace 14
Deserted island 14
Wolf pack 14
Who do you want to meet?
Wolves 14
The powerful and urbane 21 *
Broken souls 21
Young people still figuring things out 7
Opposites attract 18
Sarcastic brats 18
How should it end?
Marriage proposal 7
Partners in crime 30
I need a book two 30 *
Happy for now, no insta-love 11
I love you, but I don’t own you 15
We have our whole lives in front of us 7
Choose a kink
Spankings 19
Chastity 2
Brocest 26
Dubcon 16
Safe, sane, consensual BDSM 22 *
All the sadism 15
Choose your implement
Paddle 11
Cock cage 22
Crop 11 *
Belt 11
Whip 6
Hand 37
Bonus kink
Spit roasting 6
Bondage 27
Gangbang 20
Sounding 21
Public paddling 6
Prostate milking 18 *
My perfect Dom would be
Older brother 24
The copy from Terminator II 5
A gladiator 18
Interested only in his own pleasure 9
Interested only in my pleasure 43 *
A frat boy 0
As your top, I will
Hold the key to your cock cage 7
Initiate you into the joys of sex 17
Mold you into my perfect sub 13
Hurt you as much as you need and no more 23 *
Spank you the way we both want 17
Do whatever the hell I want 23
The perfect sub is
Hungry for my cock 17
A masochist 7
New but eager 21
Able to hold his own outside the bedroom 45 *
Able to go long periods without an orgasm 3
A fighter 6
Please, Sir …
Train me 10
Take care of me 41 *
Fuck me 18
Deny me 4
Spank me 10
Let me serve you 16
How much plot? (note: this was in the kink quiz)
Mostly plot 11 *
Teach me a new kink 11
Characters explore the kink together 24
The kink is part of the plot 45
A little non-sex plot 3
What plot? Why is there a plot? 5
In a perfect relationship (again, relates to kink)
Compromise leads to healthy kink 24
The sub might never have another orgasm 1
Blood is thicker than water 10
He’s found his true master 36
Happy-ever-after means marriage 16 *
Hurting you is how I love you 13

*note: may not add up to 100% because I did quick rounding and please forgive any  misspellings because I had to manually re-type these