Do you finish every book you start to read? Many people don’t. I once saw a statistic that said that most people only read about half of a nonfiction book.
Today, many ebook retailers have proprietary software for reading their ebooks. This software allows them to actually track how readers interact with the books they download. One of the pieces of information that can be tracked is whether or not a book is actually read all the way to the end.
Kobo (which delivers digital books to 23 million people in 190 countries and is a competitor to Amazon Kindle) recently released statistics for 2014 that showed how frequently readers finished the ebook titles they bought. Here are the results they released.
What I found so fascinating in this report is that Religion books were the most abandoned (not read all the way through). In four out of the six countries featured, religion books came in with the lowest percentage for completion. In North America, only a little over one-third of all religion books are read all the way to completion.
Learning that Religion books have the lowest completion rate is discouraging. Now I want to know why? Of course, Kobo can’t track why via its e-reading software. That is data that would need to be collected via surveys.
I have decided to not even speculate on why. There are so many possible reasons.
Instead, let me say a few related words. Sometimes member authors of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) will tell me that they feel that a reviewer did not read their book through to completion. This is generally when they have received a negative review. With this statistic, I don’t find it surprising at all that some reviewers may never finish a book, especially if they don’t like it. After all, only 35% of people in North America who download a Religion title actually read the entire book.
The other thing that strikes me from this study is that, if you are an author of a religious book, you should pack your biggest punch, your most important message, at the beginning of your book. That way, you can be sure that a reader will read your most important message. If you leave it for the latter half of your book, only about 35% of readers will ever see it.