The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 13, March 31, 2013, Article 2


E-Sylum survey logo

After publishing the link to our first E-Sylum readers survey last week, responses immediately began rolling in - nearly 100 by 5:30am Monday. One reader encountered a problem, though. Yossi Dotan writes:

I started answering your Reader Survey two days after President Obama left my country. I tried to find the name of my country in that long list. I did find Antarctica, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Guernsey and Alderney, and many other countries large and small. Only one country is missing, Israel. President Obama did not boycott Israel. Neither should your Reader Survey.

My apologies for the oversight, which I corrected. I used a free tool in Google Docs, and borrowed the country list from another user's survey so I wouldn't have to retype a 200+ entry list. I did end up hand-entering the 50 U.S. states. But despite the problems the survey seemed to work well.

The rule of thumb for direct response is that a 3% response rate is excellent. We got over four times that, and responses were still coming in Friday morning. I compiled these results Friday evening.

We are a diverse bunch. Although most responses (88%) came from the United States, we had responses from 14 different countries, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

International E-Sylum readership

table of US E-sylum readership2 Within the U.S., we have readers in Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Washington, D.C.

As for NBS membership, it was about a 40/60 split - 40% of respondents were NBS members, 60% were not. Remember, while The E-Sylum is free to all, only NBS members receive our print journal, The Asylum.

The overwhelming majority of readers (some 82%) access The E-Sylum via email. About 10% read it on the NBS web site. Much smaller numbers (from 1% to 3%) report using other options, which include the Smartphone app, RSS, Facebook and Google+. Some readers access The E-Sylum by up to three different methods.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Were these results what you expected? And now that we have our first survey under our belts, perhaps we can plan others in the future. What questions should we ask? What would you like to learn from our readers?

US E-Sylum readership chart2

Email has generally been a pretty good delivery mechanism, but there are always a few that at least occasionally report not getting their copy of the issue. We had a few copies go missing this week, and one was Harvey Stack's.

Harvey writes:

I can tell you that when The E-Sylum doesn't arrive on Sunday, it is like not having my newspaper delivered, and I am always wondering what great stuff and information I have missed.

The broad base of your editing covers a vast amount of subjects that I have great interest in. and I am sure ALL YOUR READERS would say the same. Thanks again for making me better informed and able to enjoy more of the week than I would without your help.

I think we should get some advertising out to expand your mailing list. I really feel more should read these reviews and stories to be better Numismatists. When I think for the past decade the ANA has stayed with some 30,000 members, and the U.S. Mint says there are some 175,000,000 collectors, something is missing.

I don't know about the 175M number, but the 30,000 ANA members are a ripe target. 1,600+ readers isn't too shabby for a fairly specialized publication like The E-Sylum, but we can always do better. Anyone interested enough in the hobby to join the national club ought to find something of interest in The E-Sylum. If we were to reach only 10% of ANA's membership we could nearly double our readership.

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

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