10 Ways Social Readers are Changing the Reading Landscape

Social ReadersDipping once more into data from the 2013 historical fiction survey, I’ve divided participants into general readers and ‘social readers’ defined as those who “use blogs, social media or other online sites for reading recommendations and discussion”. What, I wondered, is different about these readers?

Here’s the top 10:

  1. a higher proportion of social readers are under 40 and/or female
  2. social readers read more books on average
  3. they purchase online with higher frequency
  4. and are more likely to read e-books
  5. social readers are more likely to be aware that a book is by an indie author (although that doesn’t stop them from purchasing)
  6. more likely to read books featuring a ‘strong female character’
  7. a bit more interested in romance and/or sex
  8. find most recommendations for books from online sources
  9. are more interested than general readers in sound critique from a book review, and
  10. are more likely to belong to book club(s) both physical and online

So, dear readers, what do you think and how will this change the reading landscape and, as a consequence, the business of books?

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The historical fiction author behind A Writer of History...

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8 Responses

  1. I think if they are purchasing digitally, then they will naturally be in line to purchase more Indie books. I read a couple of articles recently and the data they give contradicts. Amazon will tell you that digital has surpassed paper books, but publisher’s data on Publisher’s Marketplace, naturally myopic, says not. I think what’s happening is that publishers don’t have access to Amazon’s Indie sales or doesn’t want to. I still can’t believe they stood by and watched Amazon acquire Goodreads–a wonderful social and discovery tool.

    1. Neither can I, Dianna. But then, maybe they’re (the big publishers) still lost in a business model that no longer works. Wouldn’t be the first time the big players in an industry missed a fundamental change affecting their world.

  2. Interesting. Ok for a desert island with internet – but if in town or on holiday in a town then for me there is nothing to beat the delights of a shopping spree hunting for inexpensive used or new books. One never knows what is going to turn up and one can feel, dip into and enjoy consideration of whether to buy or not … See my Writing and Reading for Pleasure post on TIPM in November for more details

  3. I read an article last week that cited a study (I don’t know how rigorous) there is a cognitive benefit to reading a paper book that is lost in the e-book. It had to do with, I believe, sequencing and memory and story progression, and that ithose areas in our brain are nurtured by having a physical object to manipulate – turn a page, see how far we are in the book, fold a corner.
    Why the article didn’t mention the importance of the smell of a book, I think that was just a flaw in the study design. 🙂

      1. I would be interested too. That old fusty damp smell springs to mind from books having lived in a cold damp house for too long … even pages stuck together and mound on the covers.

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