eBook Price and Marketing Strategy Insights From Romance Readers

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eBook Price and Marketing Strategy Insights From Romance Readers

eBook Price and Marketing Strategy Insights From Romance ReadersI came across some interesting research findings recently reported by romance author Marie Force. The survey was conducted during June 2013 and there were nearly 3,000 respondents. Considering she is a well-connected, self-published, romance writer it isn’t surprising that many of the responses skew to the romance genre. So putting those aside I identified 7 responses that are relevant for just about any author or small publisher.

Here’s my brief take on some key findings:

  1. Average readers shop in the big stores.
  2. Sorry, but no one marketing channel rules. You’ll need to spread out your efforts.
  3. Giving away your book for free builds awareness, especially if you have more than one book.
  4. Price lower, rather than higher.
  5. Readers don’t care about book trailers. Invest your money elsewhere.

Update, 2016: The following detail was pulled from a blog post on her website that has since been removed.

The question about where readers buy books could be answered multiple times. I note that Apple is about 13%, much less than BN’s, while Kobo is higher than I expected. Amazon’s nearly 79% is what we’d expect. (Q2)

  • Kindle/Amazon: 78.55%
  • Kobo: 7.08%
  • Nook/B&N: 23.04%
  • iBookstore/Apple: 12.88%
  • Google Books: 1.93%

Readers are much more likely to discover books via Facebook than via Twitter, by a long shot. Readers here voted for their primary source of information about books. (Q9)

  • Facebook: 18.16%
  • Twitter: 3.80%
  • Goodreads: 13.59%
  • Author websites: 10.44%
  • Author newsletters: 5.46%
  • Retail sites: 16.71%
  • Review sites: 10.71%
  • Reader blogs: 5.66%
  • Other: 15.49%

The argument that authors should give their book away to attract new reads seems to get a boost here. This is the number of times a reader tried a new book simply because it was free. (Q16)

  • More than 20 times: 35.17%
  • More than 15 times: 12.83%
  • More than 10 times: 20.68%
  • More than 5 times: 22.68%
  • Never: 8.64%

The interesting follow-up question was how likely a reader would be to buy a book from an author after reading the first book for free. (Q17)

A whopping 85% said they are extremely likely to pay for the next book.

On the hot topic of price, readers remain frugal with 2/3 expecting to pay $5.99 or less for a novel of 80,000 words and up.(Q37) Here’s the breakout:

  • 2.99: 6.49%
  • 3.99: 14.24%
  • 4.99: 25.87%
  • 5.99: 19.18%
  • 6.99: 10.36%
  • 7.99: 12.90%

Book trailers are becoming popular but it is unclear whether readers care. (Q42) Here are the results from this survey:

  • I always watch a book trailer if there is one: 6.07%
  • I have bought books after watching a book trailer: 8.21%
  • I watch book trailers but am just as likely not to buy the book: 8.78%
  • Book trailers don't influence me one way or the other: 33.10%
  • I've never watched book trailers as part of my purchase decision: 53.61%

photo credit: Miriam Cardoso de Souza via photopin cc

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