Millennials: A Substantial Market

Ever wonder why you hear so much about the Millennial generation? It’s because they are the nation’s largest living generation. The Millennials (those ages 18 to 34) are larger than the Baby Boomer generation. There are only 76 million baby boomers, but 87 million Millennials.


Not only are Millennials, as a group, larger than Baby Boomers, they also read more. A Pew Study found that 88% of Americans under 30 read a book in the past year, compared with 79% of those age 30 and older.

Since this generation reads and is the largest living generation, it is important to know how to market to this group. Unless you are strictly writing to the older generation, Millennials play a large piece in your book sales. Knowing how this generation operates is important in tailoring your marketing efforts to meet their habits and desires.

Publishing Technology recently completed a survey of 1,000 Millennials in the United Sates. Here are some of the study’s findings:

Millennials are almost twice as likely to read a print book over an ebook. This finding squares with a recent Pew report that showed that 69% read a print book, while only 28% read an ebook.

Buying Books
Physical shopping is still big for Millennials. Only 40% reported buying books from online retailers. A larger percentage preferred to buy from bookstores (52%) or use the public library (53%).

Learning About Books
The number one way that most people hear about books is through word-of-mouth. This is true for Millennials. 45% of respondents in the survey reported that they learned about new books offline. However about 34% reported that they heard about new books mostly on social media and through website browsing. Only 22% discovered new books while browsing libraries and bookstores.

Surprisingly, for a group of people born and raised in the “digital age,” Millennials read more print books than is often assumed in the publishing world. Interestingly, Millennials appear to be the very “fluid” in their reading—reading whenever and wherever they like, regardless of format or platform.

In your marketing efforts, don’t assume that Millennials are more likely to read an ebook over a print book. The research just isn’t supporting that idea.

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