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10 Important Stats for Authors

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By Fauzia Burke

Book Buyers

  1. 2010 stats: More than 40 percent of Americans over the age of 13 purchased a book; the average age of the American book buyer is 42. Women make 64 percent of all book purchases, even among detective stories and thrillers, where they buy more than 60 percent of that genre. Source
  2. Study 2012: Avid book buyers skew older, and female 64%; The #1 principal way of discovering new books? Personal recommendations 48.2% Source

Book Sales

  1. December 2012 retail sales at indie bookstores were up 2.9 percent compared to December 2011, according to preliminary figures recently released by the Bureau of the Census. Source
  2. Continued growth of e-book consumption, which rose from 4 percent of unit sales in 2010 to 14 percent in 2011. Among major subgenres, e-books had the most impact in the Mystery/Detective category, accounting for 17 percent of spending, followed by Romance and Science Fiction; where the format accounted for 15 percent of dollars spent. Source
  3. The Association of American Publishers reported that in the first quarter of 2012, adult eBook sales were up to $282.3 million while adult hardcover sales came to only $229.6 million.
  4. December 2012 retail sales at bookstores were up 2.9 percent compared to December 2011, according to preliminary figures recently released by the Bureau of the Census. Source

Value of Book recommendations

  1. Andrew Gelman of Columbia University writes in The New York Times: Despite the large number of acquaintances, most Americans know just 10 to 25 people well enough to trust them.
  2. Almost half of book purchasing decisions on Amazon were made before a customer visited the Amazon site . . . They talk with their friends just like we do, they listen to the views of those they respect just like we do, they get together with like minded people, just like we do — they use Google as a 6th sense just like we do. Source
  3. Family and friends are the primary source of book discovery for Americans 16 and older, especially so for suburban (66%) and urban residents (66%). Some 60% of rural residents say they get book recommendations from family and friends. Similarly, city dwellers (25%) and suburbanites (24%) are more likely than rural residents (18%) to have gotten recommendations from book stores they visit. Source
  4. Number 1 way online shoppers discover new books: in-person, personal recommendations (~15% of new books discovered this way). Source

© 2013 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.

Author Bio
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke. To talk with FSB and ask your book publicity questions, please join us on Facebook.

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