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Survey Results: How Do You Buy Books? - Connie Mann

Thanks so much to everyone who responded to the survey and answered the questions about how you buy books! It was so interesting and eye-opening to get a peek into your thought processes and book buying patterns. I hope you’ll find the results as helpful as I did.

After I posted the questions, several friends told me about programs that would have made this much easier, had I known about them. Sadly, you’ll have to settle for my old-school process. Hope you don’t mind.

Also, congrats to Lynne Kensington who won the free copy of Angel Falls!

So, here is what I discovered, based on your responses:

Q: Where do you buy your books?

The overwhelming majority of you said you buy most, if not all, of your books online these days. Amazon is the number one retailer you buy from. Less than a third of you buy books anywhere else today.

Q: How do you choose your books?

The top two answers were knowing the author and recommendations from others, followed closely by back cover copy. Interestingly, reviews trailed behind the other categories in terms of how you choose books.

Q: Do you prefer to read print or e-books?

Most of you still prefer the smell and feel of a print book, but the convenience of e-books has many of you choosing both. For a handful of you, it didn’t matter, though most respondents had strong preferences either way.

Q: Do you look to see who the publisher is?

About a third of you always check the publisher. A handful never do. For those who said “sometimes” or “doesn’t matter” – the most common caveat was, “unless it’s a self-pubbed book.” Interesting.

Q: If you like a book, what do you do?

Based on the responses, you go all out in spreading the word about books you like. Almost everyone will recommend it; most will also review or give “stars” on Amazon or Goodreads. About half will promote it via social media. And you’re more likely to lend the book to friends than to buy them a copy.

Q: If you downloaded a free copy from an author and loved it, how likely are you to buy other books they’ve written?

With the exception of those who don’t have e-readers and don’t download books, finding a new author via a free book will absolutely send you out to buy other books by that author.

Q: How do you feel about book trailers?

Book trailers don’t seem to influence most of you, one way or the other. You don’t love or hate them. Most of you said they have no impact on your buying decisions. But if you do watch them, you prefer movie-style over interview-style trailers—provided the acting is decent!

Wow, what great responses! Thank you again for taking the time to give me your input. It’s given me a lot to think about in terms of how things are changing and where and how to spend marketing time and efforts. Hope you found it helpful, as well.

By the way, if you’re feeling discouraged, check out my guest post on Seekerville called, “Four Reasons It’s Still Too Soon to Quit.” I’d love to know what you think.