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Thread: [Publishing] Publishing By The Numbers: Stats about Book Buyers and Readers

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    [Publishing] Publishing By The Numbers: Stats about Book Buyers and Readers

    This is a work in progress. I'm collecting links to reliable data regarding book buyers and book readers. Thanks to regdog for research help.

    Pew Research Center

    These are short, much abbreviated data points; see the linked articles for more complete results, and analysis of what the data suggests.

    October 2015 results from a Pew survey of American readers conducted in March and April of 2015.

    • Seven-in-ten American adults (72%) have read a book within the past year, whether in whole or in part and in any format
    • That is down from 79% who said in 2011 they had read a book in the previous year, but is statistically in line with survey findings starting in 2012.
    • Digital sales, which comprise about 20% of the market, have slowed sharply, while print sales have stayed relatively strong, according to the Association of American Publishers.
    • Young adults – those ages 18 to 29 – are more likely than their elders to have read a book in the past 12 months. Fully 80% of young adults read a book, compared with 71% of those ages 30 to 49, 68% of those 50 to 64 and 69% of those 65 and older.
    • Young adults – those ages 18 to 29 – are more likely than their elders to have read a book in the past 12 months. Fully 80% of young adults read a book, compared with 71% of those ages 30 to 49, 68% of those 50 to 64 and 69% of those 65 and older.
    • Young adults – those ages 18 to 29 – are more likely than their elders to have read a book in the past 12 months. Fully 80% of young adults read a book, compared with 71% of those ages 30 to 49, 68% of those 50 to 64 and 69% of those 65 and older.


    Pew Research Center survey of American Readers 2016
    Pew conducted a "nationally representative telephone survey of 1,520 American adults" March 7-April 4, 2016.

    • The share of Americans who have read a book in the last 12 months (73%) has remained largely unchanged since 2012.
    • Fully 65% of Americans have read a print book in the last year, more than double the share that has read an e-book (28%) and more than four times the share that has consumed book content via audio book (14%).
    • The share of e-book readers on tablets has more than tripled since 2011 and the number of readers on phones has more than doubled over that time, while the share reading on e-book reading devices has not changed.
    • Smartphones are playing an especially prominent role in the e-reading habits of certain demographic groups, such as non-whites and those who have not attended college.


    Nielsen 2016 U. S. and U. K. data about the book reading and buying habits of children and teens


    • In the U.K. study in 2015, nearly two-thirds of children aged 0-17s read (or were read to) for pleasure on a weekly basis, with two in five doing so daily, and nearly all doing so at least sometimes.
    • The proportion of kids 0-17 reading weekly had fallen by 1% point year-over-year since 2014 and was 7% points lower than in 2012.
    • The decrease was seen among girls as well as boys and was most marked among kids aged 3-10, dropping the most for boys aged 8-10. '
    • For the first time in 2016, the annual U.S. survey also looked at the proportion of children reading (or being read to) for pleasure.
    • On a daily basis, just over half of those U.S. childred aged 0-12 and only one in five teens were doing so, but an encouraging 82% of children read on a weekly basis and nearly half of all teens.
    • On a weekly basis in the U.S. , reading was the third most popular activity for 0-12 year olds (with watching TV at number one). For teens, reading as a leisure activity was in 11th place, after online activities and digital gaming
    • Only around one in five 0-17 year olds in the U.S. are currently using smartphones for e-reading, with a third of 0-12s and two in five teens e-reading on tablets. The U.K. saw similar levels of e-reading in 2015, with 14% of 0-17s using a smartphone and 31% using a tablet—despite much higher proportions (79%) having tablet access in the U.K. than in the U.S.
    • E-books still account for very small proportions of purchases of children’s books in both the U.K. and the U.S.: currently 11% in the U.S. and around 5% in the U.K. (though double that for Young Adult purchases alone).



    Romance Statistics

    I'm lifting these from the data collected by RWA and posted here. and the RWA data about who reads and buys romances.

    You should really go look at all the data, especially regarding romance readers, because these are mere highlights.

    • Romance novel share of the U.S. fiction market: 34% (source: Nielsen BookScan/PubTrack Digital 2015)
    • Women make up 84 percent of romance book buyers, and men make up 16 percent. (Update: According to Nielsen, as of Q4 2014, women make up 82% of romance book buyers.)
    • The U.S. romance book buyer is most likely to be aged between 30 and 54 years.
    • Romance book buyers are highly represented in the South.
    • Romance book buyers have an average income of $55,000.
    Last edited by AW Admin; 07-12-2017 at 10:13 PM.

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