EYB survey: Read our results

Online survey

In a recent survey we asked you to tell us what you thought of Eat Your Books and how you used it – we were delighted with the number that responded. It’s your feedback and support that will help us continue to improve the site. We wanted to share with you some of the responses.

How you heard about EYB: Many of you heard about EYB from a friend, and have consequently told other friends, so thank you for helping spread the word. Although we continue to promote EYB to the media and blogs, there is nothing like a recommendation from a friend to increase memberships.

Initial Impression: It’s mostly favorable, but a few new members were surprised that we don’t have full recipes. However, when we explain that we can’t reproduce recipes from cookbooks for free, they usually understand. As EYB is unique in the service it offers, the challenge is to explain that although we are a “recipe site” we don’t have full recipes!

Why you joined: Most of you joined EYB, not surprisingly, to search your cookbooks. And fortunately nearly everyone thinks we offer value for the money.

Getting Started: Nearly everyone thinks EYB is easy to use, even though many of you haven’t used the Help that’s available. We appreciate that the responses came from paid members, so there may be people who haven’t joined because they didn’t find it easy. We are continually thinking about how to improve the usability to make sure it’s simple for everyone.

How you Use EYB: Three quarters of members use EYB pretty frequently – at least several times a month – some of you daily.

For various reasons, many of you haven’t added all your books to your Bookshelf. The most common reasons seems to be: it takes too long to add them, they’re not indexed, or they don’t exist in the EYB Library.

As this is such an essential part of getting the most from EYB, we feel it’s worth making a few follow-up comments:

  • If a book doesn’t exist, try adding the ISBN using the Import Books feature –  it should be added to the site within 24 hours. (However, if it’s a particularly rare book it may not have an ISBN and our system does not allow us to load books without ISBNs.)  By adding the book,  you’ll help increase its indexing ranking – which shortens the time it will take to index.
  • Adding all your books will give you a complete catalog of your cookbook collection – which is invaluable for insurance purposes, among other reasons.
  • Many of you are finding it hard to find the time to add your books. If you have a large collection, we strongly recommend you consider buying or borrowing a barcode scanner (for as little as $15 on Amazon). I often help people set up their Bookshelves and can add around 200 books an hour using a scanner. If you have a friend helping, you can do it even quicker – and maybe you can do the same for them and share the cost of the barcode scanner. An alternative to using a barcode scanning is using an app on a smartphone – though this isn’t as quick. 

What you use EYB for: Searching recipes is obviously the most commonly used feature, though only about half of you are using the online recipe search. That’s understandable as most people want to use their own cookbooks exclusively. But for those with smaller collections, or are away from your cookbooks, or just need a quick fix,  it’s a great way to see what else is out there. We do think our online recipe search provides the best curated collection of recipes on the net.

Over half of you read the blog – if you haven’t seen it for a while, it’s always worth a glance every now and then. Every month we run several interviews with cookbook authors, announce cookbook giveaways, and Lindsay does a great job finding interesting, amusing, and sometimes weird stories from the food world. You can subscribe to the blog through either an RSS feed or, alternatively, you can have posts delivered by email.

General Comments: Most of you were very complimentary about Eat Your Books and you gave us some excellent feedback on improvements and new features you’d like to see. Please remember that we love to get your feedback at any time, so email us at info@eatyourbooks.com. And, of course, if you have any questions about any of the items above, feel free to email us those as well.

There were many lovely quotes from you, which we are so appreciative of. When you take the time to tell us how much you’re getting  from using EYB, it makes it all worthwhile! Here are a couple of comments that we particularly loved:

“I love Eat Your Books and it’s completely changed the way I plan what to cook and eat. I’m making much more use than ever of my many wonderful cookbooks.”

“I have mentioned your amazing website to loads of friends. Before your website I always use to google recipes based on my ingredients in the fridges/ cupboards but now I got to your site first. Definitely getting more value for money out of my books. Also don’t feel so bad buying more books :)”

Thanks again for being part of a community where no one should ever feel bad about buying more cookbooks!

Post a comment


  • debkellie  on  October 30, 2013

    How did I miss this survey????

  • Avocet  on  October 30, 2013

    I missed it also.

  • ellabee  on  October 30, 2013

    Maybe the survey was only sent out to the vast majority of members who don't post on the forum or comment on the blog posts? I didn't see it either.

  • aargle  on  October 31, 2013

    I didn't see the survey either

  • Laura  on  October 31, 2013

    I also don't recall having seen it.

  • Jane  on  October 31, 2013

    Initially we sent the survey to a random selection of members. We then publicized it in last month's newsletter and had a link saying that anyone who wanted to contribute could do so.

  • dsterner  on  October 31, 2013

    I just love EYB, I use it multiple times a week, and have given 2 subscriptions to friends.

  • FuzzyChef  on  November 2, 2013

    It does seem odd that you sent out a survey, but excluded the majority of your members from the notification. What's the point of that, really?

  • ellabee  on  November 2, 2013


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