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A 2009 survey of the book-buying behavior of Americans conducted by Verso Advertising of more than 5,000 internet users revealed the following factors as “very important” to respondents when making decisions about book purchases:
52% Author reputation
49% Personal recommendation
37% Book review
22% Cover artwork/blurbs
The research also indicated that despite the prominence of big-box and chain online booksellers, local independent bookstores are narrowly hanging in there as preferred book-shopping locations.
With those statistics in mind, the poll-takers concluded that a “symphonic” approach to book marketing that involves offline and online strategies for creating title awareness and influencing purchasing is the best strategy for authors marketing a new book.
No doubt finding ways to maximize time and money spent on each facet is critical to most authors. Here are a couple cool tools to help.
Goodreads is the top-ranked reader/author social network and offers some terrific ways for authors to promote themselves to the over 3 millions members. The author program is free and with Goodreads topping out on the Alexa ranking for similar book-sharing sites, spending a little time to establish a presence makes good sense!
There are also a number of independent bookseller organizations that writers should keep tabs on in the quest for finding that offline market. Indiebound is one of my favorites, as they are always offering some fun contests or promotions to get people involved in supporting their local booksellers–all of which appeal to what the new research is revealing–authors have to navigate their audience with a smart mix of on-and-offline marketing.