Is Your Book Available in More Than One Format?

Do you know the answers to these questions?

  • Who reads the most books overall?
  • Who reads the most ebooks?
  • Who listens to audiobooks the most?

College graduates read books in a variety of formats

These three questions all have the same answer. The answer is:

College Graduates—especially those making more than $75,000 per year and living in an urban or suburban environment.

The Pew Research Center’s most recent survey found that adults with a bachelor’s or advanced degree are more likely to be book readers than those who have only attended some college, high school graduates, and those with less than a high school education. And adults ages 18 to 29 are more likely to read books than those 65 and older.

college graduates read in a variety of formats

One interesting takeaway from this study is that well over one-third of college graduates consume books in digital and audiobook format. Those who read the most consume books in multiple formats: print, digital, and audio.

As an independent author or small publisher, this means that you should be making your books available for purchase in at least two, if not all three, of these formats. The more choices customers have, the more likely they will find your book in their preferred format, increasing your sales.

For many independent authors and small publishers, the price of audiobooks is too steep for their budget. Both ACX and Findaway Voices both offer more affordable audiobook production through royalty sharing with a narrator so that authors pay less upfront costs to produce an audiobook.

As artificial intelligence (AI) technology continues to improve, I believe that within a few years, production of audiobooks will be as affordable as production of print books is currently. I think that text to speech programs will evolve to sound just like a human reading, making audiobook production affordable for everyone.

Good News: Religious Book Sales are Strong
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Photo courtesy of Joseph Redfield.

e-Reading on the Rise

e-Reading is on the rise according to a recent 3,000-person survey by the Pew Research Center. The study found that one in five (20%) of Americans had read an ebook in the past year.

Interestingly, 42% of these people who had read an ebook in the past year had done so on a computer, meaning that almost half of people reading ebooks are doing so on a computer rather than an e-reader, tablet, or other mobile device.

The study also discovered that those individuals who read ebooks are different from other kinds of readers. These differences include:

  • They are avid book readers. The average person who read an ebook also read 24 books in the past year, compared to only 15 books for those who had not read an ebook.
  • eBook readers still read print books: 88% of those who read ebooks in the past year also read print books.
  • They also are more likely to have purchased their most recent book then have borrowed it.

The study also looked at when people prefer print or ebooks. The table below breaks this down for you. eBooks were much preferred when people wanted to get a book quickly and print books were the most preferred when reading with children.

Collectively, ebook reading is on the rise. Pew’s study showed that four times as many people are reading ebooks on a given day now than two years ago.

If you are not yet offering your books as ebooks (even just in PDF format for reading on a computer), you are losing out in sales. Since I began offering my book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace in both an ebook and a print format, my sales are about 50-50 with half the purchases in ebook format and the other half in print format.

Don’t wait another day to start offering your books in ebook format!

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