How Many Americans are Reading?

Earlier this year, Pew reported that according to their research 76% of American adults reported that they had read a book in some format in 2013, with the typical adult reading or listening to five books a year. Those are great numbers. If true, it would mean good news for authors and publishers—the majority of American adults are still reading at least one book each year.


Not so. After reporting the findings listed above, Pew came out and said that had discovered a flaw in their study. Many of the American adults surveyed by Pew were under the impression that prizes would be awarded, so they gave answers they thought would increase their odds of winning. In essence, as many as 38% of the survey respondents lied.

Given those numbers, the findings appear to be closer to 38% of American adults reporting that they had read at least one book in the past year. These numbers are not as bright. One piece of good news for Christian authors and publishers is that research consistently shows that Christian adults report reading more than the general populace.

Whether 38% of American adults read a book each year, or whether that number is closer to 76%, the important thing for anyone marketing a book to remember is that connecting with your potential readers is key.

In other words, if your target audience does not read, you will find selling books difficult whether or not you connect with your audience. On the other hand, if your target audience does read, you still need to find them and connect with them to sell your books.

What is your best vehicle for connecting with your target audience?

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