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New Survey: Readers Prefer eBooks But Not By Much



ebook or printeBooks have been around for a while but it’s taken a long time for it to catch on. At first, it was more of a novelty. A way for real book lovers to keep thousands of books at hand without taking up room in their home or purse.

As smartphones and tablets began to flood the market, more readers turned to ebooks and now ebook sales are on the rise, while print sales are flat.

But according to a survey by New York Times best selling author Marie Force, print isn’t dead. . . yet.

Almost 3,000 readers responded to her queries about book preferences and here’s what she found out.

Readers prefer e-books to paperbacks, (77% to 52%) however the question allowed readers to choose all formats that apply. This result indicates that some readers are buying the same books in multiple formats.

I get it. I buy ebooks to read on my Kindle app through my iPad but it’s not ideal. I still prefer to have a book in my hands except for two issues, I like that I can get an ebook right now and I like that I can adjust the size of the print.

The other reason I waffle between the two is price. eBooks are usually more expensive than buying a used copy from Amazon. Here’s what Marie’s readers had to say.

When it comes to pricing, 52% said if they want a book badly enough, they don’t care what it costs, but 22% said they won’t pay more than $4.99 for a book.

Bye-Bye Bookstores

When asked where they buy most of their books, 80% said Amazon. Barnes and Noble came in at 23%. Here’s the sad thing, 58% have not visited a brick and mortar bookstore in the last year or have only done so twice. 25% visit a bookstore once a month and 20% visit a brick and mortar bookstore twice a month or more.

I used to visit a bookstore on a weekly basis and I haven’t stepped into one in the last year. When they closed my favorite Borders store, I went online. Actually, I take that back. I have been to several used bookstores and I’ve been to the library, so I’m doing my part to keep print alive in that way.

What Do You Recommend?

  • A full 50% say reviews posted by other readers to retail sites are most important to them when selecting a book to read.
  • 64% of those surveyed say they pay “no attention” to who publishes a book and/or “it doesn’t matter” to them.
  • 33% pay “some attention” to who the publisher is whereas 4 percent say the publisher’s seal of approval “matters” to them.
  • Facebook (62%) and author websites (63%) were the places they were most likely to go for information.
  • When it comes to finding information about books, 18% listed Facebook as their primary source, followed by retail sites at 17%, Goodreads at 13% and author websites at 13%.
  • 60% of those surveyed said they do not follow their favorite authors on Twitter, whereas 87% say they follow their favorite authors on Facebook.

For Self-Published Authors

95% of readers are “more likely” to buy a self-published book from an author who is known to them, with 68% saying they are “less likely” to buy a self-published book from an author who is unknown to them.

Which means it’s incredibly hard to get noticed but once you have a following, you’re golden.

Want to learn more? Results from the complete survey can be found here http://e-bookformattingfairies.blogspot.com and http://marieforce.com.