Bowker Publishes Report on Consumer Book- and E-book-Buying Behavior
U.S. ISBN agency Bowker has announced the publication of a new report providing insights into who is buying books and what motivates them to buy.
"2008 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Report" is based on data from Bowker's PubTrack Consumer and includes book data, demographics, psychographics, genre-category breakdowns and distribution channel analysis, according to Bowker. The report also includes first-quarter 2009 trends, documenting that mass-merchandisers picked up market share while bookstores had the largest decline.*
Additionally, it includes data from Bowker's 2008 book-production statistics, which benchmark the number of new titles produced in the U.S. according to a variety of genres and publishing formats.
"This report is a breakthrough in the U.S. publishing industry because it places crucial business intelligence into the hands of book publishers regarding who is buying books, what kinds of books they're buying, what is motivating them to make those purchases and where they're going to buy those books," says Kelly Gallagher, vice president of publisher services for Bowker.
According to Gallagher, a few of the report's findings include:
- 57 percent of book buyers are women, yet women purchase 65 percent of the books sold in the U.S.
- Mystery books are the most popular genre for book club sales, with 17 percent of all purchases of mystery books coming directly from book clubs
- Generation X consumers buy more books online than any other demographic group, with 30 percent of them buying their books through the Internet
- 21 percent of book buyers said they became aware of a book through some sort of online promotion or ad
- Women made the majority of the purchases in the paperback, hardcover and audio-book segments, but men accounted for 55 percent of e-book purchases.
"Our report also provides a peek into the growing trends of e-books and e-book devices for digital delivery of book content, as well as the growth of social networks for discovery and interaction with this content," added Gallagher.
Lightning Source to Print Report On-Demand
Bowker is selling the report (via www.bookconsumer.com) for $999 for a single-use PDF or print copy, but it is offering a 10% discount on orders placed by today.
On-demand book manufacturer Lightning Source will produce the print orders on-demand. Copies of the report will be printed as they are needed, allowing Bowker to fill every order of the report from virtual inventory.
*Editor's note: In Book Business' forthcoming September issue, Senior Analyst Michael Norris of Simba Information pens a Guest Column called “Minding the Store: Why you should be paying attention to the book retailing landscape.” Bowker's data showing that mass-merchandisers continue to gain market share while bookstores show the largest decline ties directly in to Norris' word of caution to the book industry. Keep your eye out in the next few weeks for this compelling column.