What influences Book Purchasing Decisions?

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From Marketing Christian Books:

BookNet Canada conducts studies on book reading and buying behavior. In one of their studies, they looked at which element influence readers to purchase a particular book. Were readers drawn in by the awesome cover design? Were they won over by the gripping book description? Did endorsements influence readers purchase decision?

It turns out familiarity was the most cited influence for reading a given book. In other words, the reader was familiar with the author. Somehow the reader knew about the author. They may have read another book by that author. They may be familiar with the author because he or she is already famous. Maybe they saw the author on television or heard her on the radio. The key ingredient was that they “knew” the author somehow.
Here is the breakdown of the percentage of people who ranked each option first in terms of how they influence when books they read / listen to:

  • Familiarity with the author – 35.5%
  • Read a synopsis – 25.8%
  • Familiarity with the series – 17.2%
  • Cover design – 6.9%
  • Awards and bestseller stickers/badges – 6.5%
  • Saw an ad for the book – 4.7%
  • Author or celebrity endorsement – 3.1%

Notice in this breakdown that “Familiarity with the Author” was chosen by over one-third of the readers, and “Familiarity with the Series” was chosen by just about one out of every six readers.

From Marketing Christian Books

2 thoughts on “What influences Book Purchasing Decisions?”

  1. Funny how they try to say cost/pricing has nothing to do with buying by not mentioning it at all …

    And how does a reader get that “Familiarity with the author”? By reading something else they’ve done, so the first time read has to have been from one of the others.

    “Hey, it looked interesting and at that price it was worth getting.”
    (Not something you’ll be hearing said about an overpriced book/ebook.)

    That or they were looking for interesting titles at the library (oops, trad-pub don’t want writers discovery there either …)

    Must have been face forward and a good cover for them to notice any “Awards and bestseller stickers/badges” …

    So have an eye-catching (but not eye-stabbing/mugging) cover and a price that doesn’t make the reader say ‘Never mind’ and you have a chance. (Funny how in order to have that much control of both those bits requires you to not sign any trad-pub contracts. 😉 )

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