Tuesday, 30 October 2012

How do we hear about books?

I recently came across an interesting post about the changing way in which we hear about books on Nathan Bransford's excellent site. Quoting from Nathan:
Two years ago, 35% of book purchases were made because readers found outabout a book in bricks-and-mortar bookstores, the single-largest site ofdiscovery. This year, that figure has dropped to 17%, a reflection bothof the closing of Borders and the rise of e-readers. In the same period,personal recommendations grew the most, to 22% from 14%. Somethree-quarters of personal recommendations are made in person, while therest come by e-mail (8%), phone (7%), Facebook (4%) and other socialnetworks (3%).That's an incredibly fast change. Just two years ago a plurality ofpeople were hearing about books in bookstores, now that has dropped tohalf that number.
I sometimes wonder what things will be like 10 years down the line, or even 5 years.  Will there still be bookstores?  Then again, it would be instructive to see how many people who found their book in the store were already stimulated to visit because of a personal recommendation?  Often we may go into a store (or Amazon) to purchase one item, only to end up sidetracked browsing to discover another item.  

Personal recommendation is obviously the crucial factor, and this probably hasn't changed over the years - just the way we receive that recommendation, ie in person, or via a real or virtual channel. What do you think?

To read the post in full go to 

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