Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Finding Your Book's Audience

The following is an excerpt from A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story. It is crucial you recognize and make plans to target your specific audience before you sit down to write your book. Please read on.

Before you decide exactly what to write, figure out who will be buying and reading your book. If you’re writing a family history for instance, your audience may be limited to your friends and family members. In that case, book market statistics won’t be a concern to you. But if your plan is to sell your book to the public and make a profit, you’ll need to research the market to determine what your audience will want to buy.

People generally buy nonfiction books to learn about something and they purchase fiction books for the pleasure of reading. You might want to consider nonfiction for your first book. It’s easier to write and considerably more nonfiction books are published than fiction. In fact, nonfiction generally outsells fiction by two to one.

Half of all books sold in 2006 were sold to people over age 45. Women buy 68 percent of all books sold, so it might be wise to consider targeting your book idea to include a more mature and primarily female audience as well. The highest percentage of books sold was mass-market paperbacks and college textbooks.

The following are statistics on what age groups purchase which type of books. Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,001 adults, aged 18 and older.

Ages 18–29:
• 72% — Biographies or books about history
• 60% — Self-improvement books
• 58% — Thriller or suspense novels

Ages 30–49:
• 72% — Biographies or books about history
• 60% — Religion and theology
• 60% — Self-improvement books

Ages 50–64:
• 74% — Biographies or books about history
• 60% — Self-improvement books
• 59% — Current literary fiction

Ages 65 and over:
• 76% — Biographies and books about history
• 58% — Religion and theology
• 53% — Current events books and mystery novels (tie)

Aside from those listed, the genre choices in the poll included business management and leadership books, classic literature, horror novels, personal finance books, science fiction, and romance novels. All rated between 7 and 48 percent.

References:
Lou Aronica, Publishers Weekly (March 22, 1999).
Gallup, Inc., Gallup Poll, Do Reading Tastes Age? (February 4, 2003). To learn more about this study, visit http://www.gallup.com/poll/7732/Reading-Tastes-Age.aspx.

6 comments:

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Thanks for these stats and I'm somewhat surprised by them though I firmly fit into my given category.

Laura Fabiani said...

Interesting stats. I would not have thought that biographies and history books were so popular.

Break Out said...

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Danielle said...

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True Hearts Marriages said...

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Cameron Armstrong said...

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