In this series, we look at data from 2009 to make decisions about publishing now. Today we want to discuss how to market based on the reasons consumers give for purchasing a book.
General Reasons for Purchase
7% Looked through the book
5% Like a character
4% Cover/jacket design/testimonials
4% Special offer
It should be encouraging for first-time authors or those that haven’t had great sales records on previous books that the topic or subject is just as effective as author appeal for getting a consumer to purchase a book. Make sure your title or subtitle clearly portray what the book is about. With subject, it is important to highlight what people want. Do your research to see what gaps you can find and fill those needs with your book.
A word about series: when done well, series can be great for bookstores, as evidenced here, but they are also great for libraries. Many libraries have programs where they will automatically buy the next book in a series as it becomes available. This is a great way to jump start sales figures at a book’s release.
A final thought for this section of the survey is the importance of the interior, and I don’t just mean content. Clearly labeled chapters and an informative index can be key sellers for nonfiction. For fiction, it is important to have good writing throughout the book. Many consumers will read the first page or so to find out if they are interested. But many will also read a section from the middle of the book to test the quality of the writing. Everyone works hard on getting the beginning perfect and engaging, but it takes a good writer to uphold that quality throughout the book. Font, font size, margins, and the like are also important. Stay in line with industry expectations or the book will go right back on the shelf.
The statistics in this series are from Bowker’s Essential Facts 2009: About the U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors (free download available here, I suggest checking out the report for charts, graphs, and other visuals).
This post is a part of a series of posts based on publishing trends and statistics every Tuesday and Thursday through the middle of November. Check back often to see posts in this series. Look for StatSeries in the headline or check the StatSeries category to see all posts in this series.