Engaging Readers to Increase Sales

At Frankfurt International Book Fair this fall, LibreDigital presented data from an 18-month study they conducted on how readers sampled book content online.

LibreDigital is a provider of online content for publishers. Their study was based on the content that they power on the Internet for publishers, authors, retailers, and social-networking sites.

A few of the things LibreDigital found in their study were:

  1. Women spend nearly 70 percent more time browsing books online then men do.
  2. The most popular genre of books browsed online is romance novels followed by books for tweens / teens and business books.
  3. The average reader spends more than 15 minutes browsing a book and previews an average of 46 pages of each book they browse.

The question is:  Does all this browsing result in more book sales?

LibreDigital thinks it does. Since they did not study those who did not browse and still made a purchase along with those who browsed and bought, their conclusion is not scientific. However, LibreDigital thinks that their study clearly indicates that allowing readers to browse a book’s content online leads to increased print and ebook sales. As many as one in three browsers purchased the book they browsed in the study.

I think it is good marketing sense to allow readers (aka potential buyers) to preview a book. Enticing consumers to engage with a product has long been known to produce positive results. Why else do vacuum sales people let you “try” the vacuum in their store and mattress manufacturers encourage you to “lie” on their mattresses when shopping? These companies know that engaging the customer with their product increases the chances for a sale.

The same is true with books. One good way to engage consumers with your book is to provide a free look into your book’s content. This can be done in a number of ways through a variety of websites.

Start with a PDF featuring an excerpt of your book on the book’s website. Next place your book in Amazon.com’s Search Inside™ program and Google’s Search the Book program. Then use the many free online content publishing websites to showcase the contents of your book. These sites include BookBuzzr’s fReado program, Scribd, Yudu or Bookrix.

Don’t be stingy with your book’s content. If God has given you a message to publish, allow it to penetrate the lives of even those who may choose not to buy your book. Allowing readers to preview your book will increase the number of readers who will choose to purchase it.


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