With apologies to the Spice Girls, there are some interesting statistics in this article from August of last year. (I think this equates with a lot of the results that came from the much more expensive [formerly] Bowker 2013 Annual Review, which is quoted in innumerable online blogs and articles.)
I have done a bullet point summary of the article, if you want the good stuff without reading it:
- “Readers prefer e-books to paperbacks (77 to 52 percent). However, the question allowed readers to choose all formats that apply, and there appears to be crossover between the two most popular formats, indicating some readers buy books in multiple formats when the paperback is available.”
- “Nearly 58 percent of those surveyed have not visited a brick and mortar bookstore in the last year or have done so twice in the last year. ” So how important is that print distribution you were so worried about? Think about it.
- “Ninety-five percent of readers are “more likely” to buy a self-published book from an author who is known to them versus 68 percent who are “less likely” to buy a self-published book from an author who is unknown to them.” This is why you need to keep an email list and make sure your previous buyers know about new and upcoming releases!
- “Facebook (62 percent) and Author Websites (63 percent) were virtually tied for first when readers were asked where they get their information about their favorite authors.” So yes, you do need a separate Facebook fan page AND a website. “87 percent of those surveyed do follow their favorite authors on Facebook.”
- “We asked readers to tell us which review publications they subscribe to… Eighty-one percent chose “None”.” Spending the $400+ for Kirkus is probably not going to help you reach buyers/readers. ”In addition, 60 percent of those surveyed “never” peruse the New York Times bestseller list looking for new authors.”