Thursday, April 14, 2011

2009-2010 Reader Survey...

Some great things come out of forums (even those that frustrate me like Absolute Write Water Cooler). One such gem was this survey by the ABA (American Booksellers Associton). Some facts about the study:

  • 9,300 respondents
  • Picked from a pool of 110 million internet users from 5,100 websites
  • Conducted Nov 2009, Dec 200, Jan 2010
  • Adults 18+ (Males 48%, Woman 52%) - to match US population

Hours per week reading:

  • 10.6% - not sure
  • 19.6% - less than 1 hour
  • 21.3% -1-2 hours
  • 20.8% - 3 - 4 hours
  • 14.8% - 5 - 9 hours
  • 12.9% - 10 hours or more
If Avid Readers are defined as >= 5 hours a week
  • 63% female
  • 37% male
Number of books bought in last 12 months

  • 16.2% - not sure
  • 12.0% - none
  • 12.7% - 1-2
  • 14.9% - 3-4
  • 15.0% - 5 - 9
  • 29.3% - 10 or more
Principal Reasons for Buying books:

  • 2% - Other
  • 32% - Entertainment/relaxation
  • 22% - Education/self improvement
  • 14% - Gift
  • 11% - Business/professional
  • 11% - Historical/current events
  • 8% - Children/grandchildren
NOTE: I think this was a stupid question as most people fall across all those categories but I guess the "principal" covers that -- but in addition I think children/grandchildren probably fall into a "gift" situataion.

Shopping Location (all/avid buyers)

  • 0%/1.6% - Not sure
  • 12.1%/0% - Other
  • 22.0%/27.6% - Chain bookstore (B&N, Borders)
  • 23.0%/27.3% - Local independent
  • 21.1%/19.0% - On-line Retailer
  • 11.7%/14.1% - Big-box retailer (Wallmart, target)
  • 10.1%/10.4% - Book clubs
Primary Factor in Book Purchase Decision: % deemed VERY important*
  • 52% - Author reputation
  • 49% - Personal recommendation
  • 45% - Price
  • 37% - Book reviews
  • 22% - Cover artwork/blurbs
  • 14% - Advertising (including online)
*This was the best question in the group (IMO)

Probability of buying ereader in 6-12 months**


  • 17.1% - not sure
  • 6.8% - already own one
  • 8.2% - very likely
  • 15.7% - somewhat likely
  • 52.5% - not at all likely
**This is over 1 year old data at this point - I would love to see this number for 2010/2011

Of ebook owners - planned ebook purchases/planned paper purchases***

  • 16%/13.5% not sure
  • 22%/13.2% - none
  • 13%/14.9% - 1 - 2
  • 10%/13.5% - 3 - 4
  • 14%/17.2% - 5 - 9
  • 25%/27.7% 10 or more
***Again - old data so not much relevance now other than to note that a year ago people who had ereaders were still buying a significant number of paperback books. I for one always choose an ebook over paper book.

Primary time for using ereader

  • 7% - other
  • 13% - not sure
  • 27% - reading at home for leisure
  • 14% - reading in bed
  • 24% - traveling or commuting
  • 9% - during breaks in the workday
  • 6% - studying or school reading
NOTE: This survey had a $ willing to pay but as the "cheapest" was "less than $10" I don't think it has much relevance. I would rather see a: $0, $0.99, less then $3, $3-5, $5-9.99, Over 10$. This suvey had: less than $10, $25 or more, $20 - $24.99, $15-19.99, $13.00-$14.99, $10.00 -$2.99.

Regarding piracy (Torrent services) - from ereader population -How many times in 12 months you downloaded a book from Rapidshare, Megaupload, Hotfile, etc.

  • 8% - Not sure
  • 63% - None
  • 13% - 1 or 2
  • 7% - 3 or 4
  • 3% - 5 to 9
  • 6% - 10 or more

10 comments:

Unknown said...

Very cool statistics. But I agree, would be awesome to see 2011 numbers. I know so many people who got an e-reader for Christmas, people I would characterize as the early adopters in the circle of friends, and many people followed in the early months of 2011 to keep up with the Joneses. :)

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the survey appears to be credible at least from the outset.

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lindanorwood said...

I felt very curious reading this survey. It is so interesting to see how people feel about reading in one or another manner. As far as I am a writer I read a lot of books of different genres in order I could write professional memorandum for those who need such kind of paper.

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