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.

reading

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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Go Away. I’m Reading.

Have you ever been interrupted when reading a book? Have you ever wished you had a sign that said “Go Away. I’m Reading”.

If so, you are not alone.

Three book lovers, Erin Bowman, Sarah Enni, and Traci Neithercott, thought that having a way to silently warm everyone at the coffee shop that Reading Time ≠ Social Time was what they needed.

The three created simple but inspiring dust jackets for print books. These dust jackets have various statements to tell others that you do not want to be disturbed.

My favorites are:

Erin, Sarah, and Traci are offering their dust jackets for free. You can simply download the PDF and print it on Matte Cardstock between 60-80 lbs. They even have a video on YouTube showing how to assemble the dust jackets.

To get your free copy of these book covers, just click on the title above. You will be redirected to the PDF for that cover.

Now, go read uninterrupted!

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Go Home and Read

The statistics on the decline in book reading are depressing. To combat this trend, authors, publishers, and literary organizations are coming up with creative ways to encourage people to read.

A few years ago, the New Zealand Book Council created this ad that they paid to have play in movie theaters. The message was simple, but important: “Go home, read a book.”

Hopefully, at least a few people took the message to heart. What other creative ways have you seen people being encouraged to read?

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Have You Been Hugged by a Book Lately?

I recently came across this picture on a book review blog. The picture was being used as the blog’s backdrop.

I absolutely fell in love with this picture. It portrays how I feel about good books.

Good books hug you. They provide comfort and support in life.

Of course, the ultimate Good book (the Bible) provides the most comfort, encouragement, and support.

However, other well-written, Christian-themed books also provide a hug when one reads them.

Have you been hugged by a good book recently?

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Do You Read?

In conversations, people frequently say to me, “How do you know about that?” or “I’m amazed at how many things you know.”

I don’t know the things I know because I am smarter than most people. Rather, I know a number of things that the average person in American is not aware of because I read. I read more than the average American.

I read all the time. I read newspapers, blogs, magazines, and books. Always in the middle of reading two or three books at once, I prefer reading to watching television.

Reading introduces me to all sorts of ideas and concepts I might not run across in everyday conversations.

Just the other day, I learned that the game Monopoly is now being made without paper money. Monopoly can now be played with credit cards accompanied by a scanner that players swipe their cards through to debit or credit money. I discovered this interesting tidbit while reading Cashless by Mark Hitchcock.

Not too long ago, I received a call from a gentleman who was looking to publish a book he wrote. He called to ask me information on how to start his own publishing company to publish his book.

Rather than conduct a whole workshop for one man over the telephone, I directed this gentleman to a number of books that would walk him through the process of starting a publishing company and publishing his book.

His response, “I’m not into reading.”

Not into reading? How can he expect to find people to read his book? If he is not into reading, why does he want to publish a book?

Is what he has to say so wonderful, that all the other hordes of people not into reading will actually decide to read just his book to glean from his wisdom?

The number of people who actually read books is on the decline in America. If we, the producers of these books, do not, ourselves, read, then who do we think we will sell our books to?


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