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Book Consumers by the Numbers: A Different Spin

Publishers Weekly reported Bowker's "Book Consumers by the Numbers" data from last week's Digital Book World conference, and it's been interesting to see how people use the numbers to push their pet narratives about the state of the industry.

Here's a few twists I'd focus on if I was running a book publishing company and trying to figure out where the opportunities are:

60 Percentage of book buyers who are female
40% are men, an underserved tertiary market with growth potential.

28 Percentage of book buyers 55 or older
72% are 54 or younger. Older buyers most likely spend more, but are going to spend zero much sooner. What's your long game?

93 Percentage of book buyers on Facebook
100% of book buyers are human. Also, some stats are meaningless on the surface. Know what's important.

50 Percentage of e-readers using Kindles or Kindle Fires
If true, your ebook strategy starts with Amazon. Period.

22 Percentage of books bought on impulse
78% already know what they want. How/when/where did they decide?

30 Percentage of book sales at Amazon
Significant, but varies greatly by genre. Know your genre, know your audience. Also know that every partner is potentially a competitor.

29 Percentage of e-books bought by people under 30
People over 30 buy the vast majority of ebooks; so much for that digital native meme.

XX Percentage of books bought by library patrons
Why aren't libraries ever included in these studies?
Paula D. “Honey” Hill's profile photoGuy Gonzalez's profile photoJuju Gomes's profile photo
Guy, I use these statistics all of the time to explain to the authors I represent how their focus should change from what they are doing to who their customers to build a following of readers and buyers vs. their great 5k+ followers of other authors. I've found so many uses for this information. Thanks for posting it. I wouldn't have found it (possibly) if you hadn't posted it.
Glad to hear that, Paula. Thanks!
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