Understanding reader behavior is key when it comes to selling books. Yes, not everyone feels the same, and some genres may vary, but by putting yourself in the shoes of readers, you will have more success communicating with them.
So, how do you put yourself in a reader’s shoes? Well, a great place to start is right here!
We recently polled our reader audience to find out how they choose what to read next, what makes a good book, how much they spend on their reading habit and how they like to connect with authors.
The readers surveyed are subscribed to one of our email promo brands, like Freebooksy or Bargain Booksy, and we think this data can help inform where you focus when it comes to marketing your books.
Here are our results, and what they mean for authors.
Before we get into site specifics, here are some takeaways that held true across readers from all five of our promo sites.
1) The book description, author, and book cover are the most important factors for readers when deciding on a book purchase.
What this means for authors: Invest in your covers and take time with your descriptions. Also, once a reader knows your work, your author name will help them purchase your books in the future.
Cover ranked third, but it shouldn’t be underestimated how important a good cover is. Many readers are hooked by a cover first, and then move to the description and author name to decide whether to buy.
2) An entertaining or unique plot was the most important factor in influencing readers’ enjoyment of a book.
What this means for authors: Your content is important. Books with robust plots and interesting storylines will resonate with readers. Yes, covers and descriptions play a big role in driving sales, but once someone begins to read, it’s the quality that matters.
3) Readers consider the average review score when evaluating whether or not to read a book.
What this means for authors: Focus on getting reviews so you have a score for readers to assess. Don’t get sidetracked by a low review here and there. It’s the average that matters.
4) 23% of readers are active reviewers that leave book reviews frequently.
What this means for authors: Make sure to put that review ask at the end of your book. A simple line of text in your backmatter asking for a review is a great way to maximize how many readers actually write one!
5) If given an opportunity to learn more about authors, our audience agreed that they would most like to know “the author’s inside scoop on characters and storylines from their book.”
What this means for authors: When creating and sharing content on social and in author newsletters, include details about your characters and storylines. This content could even potentially be sold to readers, or given away as bonuses to readers who share your book with others.
6) Over 75% of readers use Written Word Media newsletters as their primary source for finding their next read.
What this means for authors: Running a promotion in a Written Word Media newsletter is a great way for authors to start building a reader audience.
7) Over 35% of readers are Kindle Unlimited subscribers.
What this means for authors: Running a promo with Written Word Media will likely boost your KENP reads, even if you’re running a free day during the promotion.
8) Over 25% of readers read 6-10 books per month and spend up to fifteen dollars per month purchasing books.
What this means for authors: Having other books in a series, or by the same author, will lead to buy-through. Highlighting your other titles in your back-matter can result in future sales.
That covers the high-level takeaways from our survey. Below we’ve taken a deep dive into each of our promotion sites and their associated reader behavior:
Freebooksy is our oldest and largest promo site, and, as you might have guessed, it is for promoting free eBooks. Here is what stands out about the Freebooksy audience.
- The Freebooksy email list is now over 672,000 readers.
- Over 80% of Freebooksy readers use a Kindle or Kindle app to read books.
- Over 24% of readers spent over $5 a month on books each month, with over 12% spending over $15 a month.
- Readers love Freebooksy: 75% of Freebooksy subscribers use the newsletter to find their next read.
Bargain Booksy promotes books priced between $0.99 and $4.99. Here’s what we’ve learned about Bargain Booksy readers:
- The Bargain Booksy email list now stands at over 400,000 readers.
- 41% of Bargain Booksy readers are also subscribed to Kindle Unlimited, so you can expect to see an uptick in your KENP pages read when you run a promotion.
- 84% of Bargain Booksy readers use a Kindle or the Kindle App to read books.
- Eager Learners: while the primary reasons Bargain Booksy subscribers read are to be entertained and relax, over 50% also read to learn. This was more than any of our other sites.
- 76% of Bargain Booksy subscribers use the newsletter to find their next read.
Red Feather Romance is a romance-specific promo site, and this list boasts some of our most active and ravenous readers.
- The Red Feather Romance email list now stands at over 176,000 readers.
- Red Feather Romance readers are voracious, with almost half of readers reading over 10 books per month. Almost 20% of subscribers read more than 20 books per month!
- 91% of Red Feather Romance readers use a Kindle or the Kindle App to read books.
- A whopping 47% of Red Feather Romance readers are also subscribed to Kindle Unlimited, so you can expect to see an uptick in your KENP pages read when you run a promotion.
- Readers love Red Feather Romance: 86% of subscribers use Red Feather Romance to find their next read.
NewInBooks is focused on promoting new releases. These readers want the newest hottest reads, and we find that this audience is one of our most unique.
- The NewInBooks email list stands at over 130,000 readers.
- Big Spenders: 26% of NewInBooks subscribers spend over $25 per month on books. That’s more than any of our other audiences.
- Social readers: NewInBooks subscribers are more likely to engage with others about what they are reading than any of our other audiences. 44% of NewInBooks subscribers talk to friends and colleagues about what they are reading.
- They crave their weekly email: 75% of NewInBooks subscribers use the newsletter to find their next read.
As always, we are continuing to add new readers and engage our existing subscribers to get authors the results they want. If you have a question about one of our promo sites, feel free to contact us or ask it in the comments below.