On December 12, 2011, the New York Times published an article about holiday book sales with the jaunty title, “E-Books, Shmee-Books: Readers Return to the Stores.” That article sparked quite a few reader comments. The Times printed several of them on Christmas Eve under the title, “Reading Books in the Digital Age.”
These make great reading and they’ll give you an idea of how book buying and reading habits are changing. If you’re planning on writing a book to boost your career or business, you’re most concerned with the business book buyer.
Business book buyers are only part of the book buying universe. In my experience, they have some characteristics that you want to consider when you plan your book and other information products.
Business book buyers are more likely to use e-book readers like the Kindle. They provide portability and searchability that add value for business readers.
Classic book promotion techniques may not work well with business book buyers. They’re less likely to hear about books they want to read from radio interviews or the book review sections of their local paper. Their choices are more likely to be driven by book reviews in business publications and on trusted web sites like LeadershipNow. Author-written articles in the business press and on business web sites are part of the mix, too.
Amazon is an important part of the business book buying process for the vast majority of business book buyers I’ve spoken with in the past year. It’s true for Kindle users, of course, but even readers who buy elsewhere tend to use Amazon as part of their vetting process.
Book buying and reading are changing rapidly. As they change the channels and methods we use to promote and sell our books should change, too.