It used to be simple. A friend recommends a book. Or you stop into your neighborhood independent bookstore and a cover catches your eye. Or maybe one of the long-haired, well-read book clerks turns you onto his favorite find.
These days, according to a Digital Book World article entitled, “Book Discovery Landscape Becomes More Complicated as Reader Behavior Fractures,” predicting book buying behavior has become as complex and sticky as a spider web. According to Bowker Research Group, “in 2011, nearly half of consumers changed their book-buying behavior.” In fact, book buying behavior has become almost like a fingerprint–no two look like. For example, even though female readers who like to read romances might seem similar on the surface, with the options to search and download on a multitude of devices, those two readers could find their books in any number of ways. For the small indepenent presses working to get its books into the hands of readers, generalizations are hard to come by.
Another wrinkle to the map is the layers of data. Kelly Gallagher, Vice President of publishing
services for Bowker Research Group, reports that “tablet owners discover new books through free excerpts about 15% of the time; but readers of young adult fiction discover new books through the same way about 6% of the time.” Reaching tablet readers who like YA books becomes a nuanced and complicated project!
Kelly Gallagher has this advice: “book marketers should begin their strategic thinking by focusing on the reader that they want to reach and knowing where they can find them and what kinds of marketing they respond to best.”
Yeah, right–easier said than done!
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