Unbiased feedback is critical for content creators such as authors, editors, and publishers.

If you work in the publishing industry, you’ve likely worked with authors who are dead set on their favorite title or cover design because “everyone I’ve talked to said it’s the best one.” Who is “everyone”? Friends and family, of course. 

If you’re in an author, in your defense, those are logical places to start because they care enough (hopefully!) to take the time to give you their feedback. 

The problem? Bias. The closer the feedback giver is to you relationally, the less trustworthy—and therefore useful—it really is. For example, those close to you may be affected by acquiescence bias (also known as the friendliness bias, confirmation bias, or “yea-saying”). One of the most common types of bias in research, respondents who are close to you relationally often show a tendency to agree with whatever it is that you’re asking or stating. And that’s a good thing, usually. Who wants a lot of friends who criticize you all the time? 

However, when it comes to crafting or packaging a great piece of content, unbiased criticism is exactly what authors, scriptwriters, editors, publishers and other content creators and curators need. 

In our recent survey of publishing industry leaders (Data Infused Publishing), 24.6% of publishers relied on feedback from an author’s friends, peers or family members. However, another 47% relied on feedback from peer editors in their organization, as well as 40.8% who relied on feedback from their team’s book marketers. While in-house feedback is also valuable in its own way, asking team members for feedback has its own version of prejudices, including acquiescence, social desirability, and interviewer biases. 

Target Audience Insights provides a trusted source of target reader audience feedback that vastly reduces the influence of these misleading biases. Contact us  to learn more!