BIBLIONOMICS #1: Non-Price Determinants of the Demand for Books

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Have you ever thought about the factors people consider before buying a certain good or service aside from their price? Have you ever stopped and thought of what factors make you or make you not buy certain goods and services? Have you realized that there are lots of other things that are as important or probably more important than the price tag?

How about in books? Have you ever thought of what readers consider before purchasing a book aside from its price? Well, look no further because I just might have the answers for you!

Welcome Back to Biblionomics!

Last May, I have finally launched Biblionomics and started my first ever Biblionomics project this June by opening up a survey form which aims to ask readers from across the globe, regardless of how long they have been a reader and regardless of how many books they own, the factors that affect their decisions in buying or not buying a book. This survey aims to know the factors that affect book consumers’ demand for books aside from their prices.

This survey has 130 samples. It is a pretty small number compared to how HUGE our population of readers is. Hence, the results you’ll be seeing are definitely just underestimations. Nonetheless, all these 130 respondents have valid experiences that need to be heard and still says something about the book market and its consumer behavior.

In order for the respondents to gain idea on what type of answers the survey aims to get, non-price factors have been suggested where respondents were asked to indicate whether if the said factors have affected their willingness and capacity to buy books or not. Then later on, they were also asked to enumerate the other non-price factors that have affected their willingness and capacity to buy a book that were not on the form. The suggested non-price factors are: income/allowance, cover, author, release date, publisher, pages, genre, reviews, recommendations, trigger/content warnings, location of bookstore and to-be-read books. These factors have been suggested based on what I personally think are common factors that might affect others’ willingness and capacity to buy books.

If you want to know more about the conducted survey, click here.

This post has 4 major parts: The Respondents, What Have We Learned (by location, by age, by occupation, and total), Summary and Conclusion. This will be long, so get on a comfy chair, a comfy bed or your favorite spot. Even grab a coffee, tea, water, juice or snacks if you want. Enjoy reading and I hope you’ll be able to learn a thing or two!

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The respondents have been asked about their: (a) country, (b) age, (c) occupation, (d) how long they have been reading, (f) the age category of the books they’re reading, and (g) favorite genre. This has been done to further know the respondents and to possibly find out the relationship, if there’s any, of these information with their willingness and capacity to buy books.

However, I realized that doing so for each of these information (going through 130 observations for 6 times, not even including for the total and specifics in countries, ages and occupations, which took me going through them prolly 10 headache-causing and sometimes-frustrating times) would require extensive work and I may have underestimated the time and effort this research would cost me. Hence, I decided to focus on the 3 most important things about the respondents (1) their location, (2) their age, and (3) their occupation – which report you’ll see after this part.

How old are they?

Out of 130 respondents, 82 are aged from 20 to 29 years old, 19 are aged from 30 to 39 years old, 18 are aged from 11 to 19 years old, 4 are aged from 40 to 49 years old, 3 are aged from 50 to 59 years old, and 3 are aged from 60 to 69 years old, while 1
respondent’s age is unknown.

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To avoid disclosing the specific occupations of the respondents (which varies A LOT), and to simplify, it was instead identified how many of the respondents are working or not.

Out of the 130 respondents, 77 are employed, 8 are unemployed, 35 are students, 3 are working students, 3 are retiree and 4 of them didn’t specify.

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How long have they been readers?

Out of 130, 9 have been readers for 1-5 years, 13 have been readers for 6 to 10 years, 17 have been readers for 11 to 15 years, 33 have been readers for 16 to 20 years, and 59 have been readers for more than 20 years.

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What are the age category of the books they are reading?

Out of 130, 121 reads Children’s books, 85 reads Middle Grade books, 126 reads Young Adult books, 96 reads New Adult books, and 112 reads Adult books. Most readers read a wide variety of books under different age categories, while some read books under all age categories and only a few reads books under one age category.

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What are their favorite genre to read?

Out of 130, 80 readers’ favorite is fantasy, 16 readers’ favorite is contemporary, 14 readers’ favorite is romance, 6 readers’ favorite is thriller, 5 readers’ favorite is sci-fi, 3 readers’ favorite is mystery, 3 readers’ favorite is dystopia, 2 readers’ favorite is literary fiction, 2 readers’ favorite is historical fiction, and other readers’ favorites are women’s fiction, dark romance, horror, crime, paranormal, short stories, magical realism, and non-fiction.

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BY LOCATION

The location of the respondents have been divided by continents but except for Oceania, which is a geopolitical region, to include countries that are not part of Australia but part of the said region. The bar graphs below show which of the suggested factors affect the willingness and capacity of readers to buy books in each specific continent. The numbers on the y axis of the graphs correspond to the numbers of respondents who said that these factors affected their willingness and capacity to buy a book regardless whether if it made them buy one or not. The bar graph has been used to compare the number of readers who said that those factors affect their demand for books.

Again, this only represents the 130 respondents of the survey and does not impose anything with regard to the people who lives in each continent.

Also, please note that this specific portion provides some of the psychology between the respondents’ decision-making by showing their statements, and these won’t be repeated at the summary or conclusion to better try make this post less lengthy as it already is.

ASIA

  • 37 out of the 130 respondents came from Asia
  • Based on the suggested factors, the notable ones that affect Asian readers’ demand for books are: income/allowance, cover, author, genre, reviews, recommendation, location of bookstore, and their TBR – where more than half of the Asian respondents said that these factors made them buy and/or not buy a book.
  • Out of the 27 Asian readers who enumerated other factors:
    6 said that the diversity and representation in a book matters
    4 said that the edition of the book affect their decision and would most likely buy a special edition one
    4 said that the hype/buzz would more likely make them check the book out and therefore affect their decision in purchasing
    3 said that pre-order incentives is a factor too and accommodation for non-US readers made them buy that book
    3 said that they’re more likely to buy a book that has movie or TV adaptation
    2 said that they’re less likely to buy books from authors who showed/s bad attitude or are problematic
    2 said that they’re more likely to buy a book if it’s available on their preferred format
  • The other factors that were mentioned only once can be found at the bottom of the graph below.

 

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*Factors mentioned only once by readers were listed as “others”.
*Others = blurb, being part of a series, size, formal media coverage, home/shelf space, time to read and buy, historical accuracy, for others’ consumption, experience in reading the ARC, content relevance to present, availability, shipping fee, parent’s opinion (or more like a cultural thing, tbh), perceived re-readability, excerpt, writing style, synopsis

 

When asked about the other factors and/or to expound their answers, here’s what Asian readers has to say…

“Pre-order incentives have affected my book purchases but they also don’t play that important of a factor when I’m pre-ordering a book. Also, signed books do make me buy a book faster than I would’ve bought it if it wasn’t signed.”

“More likely to buy a book that’s part of a series (as compared to a standalone). More likely to buy a book that has Asian representation too. “

“(1) Edition available (including bonus contents); (2) size (i.e. differences in international paperback vs regular paperback, so I don’t automatically buy an intl paperback of the next book in a series if I bought the previous one in regular paperback); (3) hype or buzz, which I think is separate from reviews since some hyped books don’t have early or many early reviews; (4) formal media coverage and news (i.e. made me buy a book that will turn into a movie, and made me not buy a book because of bad rep)… All of these factors made me BUY and NOT BUY a book.”

“I usually buy books when it has some historical accuracy even in the fantasy genre.”

“Willingness of my sibling to read the book.”

“Pre-order swag/pre-order campaign that accommodates readers living outside the US – I bought books bec of this. Promises representation within the story – if the book has characters that are Filipino, or if the book’s by a Filipino author they become auto buy for me”

“As for the author, I don’t buy or patronize any book from an author who has a problematic attitude, rude, or simply because I don’t like.”

“As well as the availability of the book. Some are not available, some are always out of stock, so the next option would be to buy online. But there would be times that I don’t want to wait, so the eagerness to have the book will fade and that would result to me not buying the book.”

“Format availability–more likely to buy big books (500+ pages) if I can get an ebook, small books if they’re available in physical editions. SHIPPING PRICE: I cannot buy books with overly high shipping (for example, from small presses in USA or UK).”

“How relevant it is to current times (sp. Non fiction) and how it reflects me (POC/own voices, etc)”

“I HAVE NOT buy a book just because my mom will see how much i hoard books”

“Authors that have a bad rep. or did something problematic gets eliminated from my buying options (after I’ve verified and looked into the incident).
Hype and reviews are interconnected and I’m more likely to check out the book if there’s hype. However, it does not guarantee a purchase. That may happen after I’ve read the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.
Excerpts for e-books help me make a more assured and faster decision to get a book. I have not bought a book after reading an excerpt(as I found the style not to my liking and saved me from regretting a purchase (and the author from a medium negative review)
The tone of the book/writing style affects my buying process. I have bought and not bought books because of that.”

Note: These statements, as well as for the other continents’, were selected and those with no explanation weren’t put in the list (e.g. “availability”, “mood”, “edition”)

NORTH AMERICA

  • 46 out of the 130 respondents came from North America
  • Based on the suggested ones, the factors that notably affect North American readers’ demand for books are: income/allowance, cover, author, genre, reviews, and recommendation – where more than half of the North American respondents said that these factors made them buy and/or not buy a book.
  • Out of the 31 North American readers who enumerated other factors:
    7 said that author’s attitude and reputation affects their decision and would most likely buy a book by the author they like and not buy a book by the author that is problematic or has reports of sexual misconducts and with harmful/problematic content. The author’s identity (e.g. being part of a marginalized group) could also make them purchase their book.
    7 said that the edition of the book is also a factor and would most likely buy a special or collector’s edition of the book.
    5 said that the hype & popularity of the book influenced them too.
    4 said that the book’s availability in the library make them buy a book if they loved it and/or it’s not available, and not buy a book if it can be read from the library.
    4 said that the format of a book affects their consumption and would most likely buy a book that is available in their preferred format.
    2 said that the space in their home or where they could keep the book is a factor and would probably not buy a book if there is no space left.
    2 said that if they think the book can be reread by them or others, they’d most likely buy it.
    2 said that their willingness to buy a book depends on their mood too.
    2 said that seeing themselves be represented is a huge factor too.
  • The other factors that were mentioned only once can be found at the bottom of the graph below.

 

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*Factors mentioned only once by readers were listed as “others”.
*Others include: perceived re-readability, availability in an indie bookstore, winning swags, classroom read-aloud list, adaptation, relationship with author, blurb, Amazon rebate, being part of a series, size & weight, for others’ consumption, experience reading the ARC

When asked about the other factors and/or to expound their answers, here’s what North American readers has to say…

“An author’s behavior on social media has made me both buy and not buy one of their books.”

“BUY: seeing it on a classroom read-aloud list, having heard about it on Twitter, winning a giveaway from the book’s author for bookmarks/merchandise, book format (physical, ebook, hardcover, paperback, etc)
NOT BUY: reports of sexual misconduct by the author, reports of problematic content or harmful content by the author, book format”

“I have bought a book because my friend wrote it.”

“More likely to buy a book if it has a colored spine for a rainbow shelf, more likely to buy a book if the author is kind and available on social media, less likely to buy a book if the author supports Trump, more likely to buy a book if book is promoted as diverse “

“A special edition of a book that I like has made me willing to purchase that edition even though I owned the other edition.”

“…Amazon rebates (buy $20, get $5 back for instance) helps trigger a buying spree. The next book in a series, might trigger a buy. If an author publishes too frequently, especially in a series, I might stop buying because I can’t keep up (or don’t want to) and get frustrated…”

“…when covers are pretty, I want the book for my Bookstagram”

“I’ve bought books after receiving a free review copy if the book was available in paperback/hard cover. I’ve not bought books by authors I consider to “behave badly” in the public eye.”`

“I wish to own the book. Want to highlight passages. Want to reread it. Want to go to passages when mood hits me. Book is complex and requires ownership and revisiting. I would not own a quick read, go to library for those.”

“Size/weight– I have NOT BOUGHT books that I didn’t want to carry around with me. Availability at libraries– I have both BOUGHT books my library didn’t have and NOT BOUGHT books because I knew the library did have them. I also often buy books that I have already read and want to reread and/or lend to friends.”

“Enjoying an author on social media makes me more likely to buy (take a chance on) their book.
Being in a particular mood, eg on vacation or wanting a treat, makes me more likely to buy a book.
I am also more likely to buy a book if I’m in an indie bookstore, or particularly in a small town ( because I like to support the local economy when I travel–I live in a big city).
I have bought books on the recommendation of bookstore staff. One of my favourite bookstores pins cards with mini staff reviews to the shoved, and this is good.
Having gotten a book from the library can make me buy a copy for myself (if I liked it) or avoid that author in the future (if I didn’t). This is particularly true for non-fiction, eg. Cookbooks or knitting books, that I will use over and over again.
I also buy books as gifts for other people–especially expensive ones that I won’t buy for myself. “

“I HAVE bought a book because my library didn’t have it”

“Seeing a book pop up across different social media platforms can influence me to buy a book. If I start seeing it everywhere I’ll give the book a shot and buy it!”

“I’ve bought books because they contain something I’m very specifically interested in, such as a trope or concept that I love”

“If the author has treated me poorly, I will avoid all books by them in the future.”

“Since I am an author, I also sometimes buy books that are similar to my own current or future projects just to see what other authors are doing with the subject material.”

EUROPE

  • 34 out of 130 participants came from Europe
  • Based on the suggested ones, the factors that notably affect European readers’ demand for books are: income/allowance, cover, author, genre, reviews, and recommendation – where more than half of the European respondents said that these factors made them buy or not buy a book.
  • Out of the 32 European readers who enumerated other factors:
    5 said that the hype/popularity have made them buy and not buy a book.
    5 said that the availability on line, in near and specific stores affect them and if they can access the book easily, they’ll most likely buy them.
    4 said that the format is a huge factor they consider and most likely will buy a book that is available in the format that they prefer.
    4 said that their mood can determine whether or not they’ll buy a book.
    3 said that they’re more likely to buy a book because it’s diverse and because of its representation.
    2 said that authors’ behavior and reputation affect their decision and would less likely buy a book by an author who had done something inappropriate or is problematic.
    2 said that they’re more likely to buy a book that is part of a series than those that are not.
    2 said that they’re more inclined to buy a special edition or collector’s edition of a book. The scarcer the edition is, the more likely they’ll buy.
    2 said that the location of a book inside a store affects them and would more likely buy those that are in themed display or suggestions shelf.
  • The other factors that were mentioned only once can be found at the bottom of the graph below.

 

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*Factors mentioned only once by readers were listed as “others”.
*Others = adaptation, book club membership, specific content, shipping fee, physical aspect of the book (having uncut edges and use of velour cover), author event, pre-order incentive, library availability, having an ARC, quality if second hand, receiving book token/money gift, blurb, country of origin, translator, free time, publisher reputation, currency availability in on line store

When asked about the other factors and/or to expound their answers, here’s what European readers has to say…

“If the book is commonly available in most book shops then I am more likely to buy it rather than buying books that are hidden gems”

“I have bought books before purely because they were bookseller recommendations or featured as part of a bookstore campaign (eg Waterstones Books of the Month, WHSmiths Richard and Judy book club)… I both have and have not bought a book before when it is made into a film or tv show (eg I bought to read before the film or I decided not to buy because I didn’t like the look of the film)”

“The cover is the main factor for me when buying books, and the reason why I own more physical copies than e-books or audiobooks.”

“If the book contains something I’ve been wanting to read for a while I’ll definitely buy — e.g. I’ve been missing the paranormal trend that happened when I was a teen so bought a few paranormal/fantasy books that are currently on my TBR because of that.”

“Feel of the book like uncut edges and velour covers put me off as I find the feel icky, change in cover art mid way through series publication has stopped me buying either series starters or midway through the run.”

“If a book is lgbt I’m far less critical of all the other factors and will be more likely to buy it”

“Availability in online stores made me buy books, high shipping fees made me bot buy books”

“Format. I hugely prefer hardbacks but where I live it’s difficult to find English books in hardback so I often don’t buy the book then (which is good for my bank account!!)”

“Scarcity of the book (rare, limited edition etc.) would make me more likely to buy it. Desire for a book at that point in time (I.e. nothing to do at a train station). Ease of free access (does my library hold this book? Can I borrow it from a friend? Can I get it as an ARC?) Quality of the book if secondhand.”

“My mood – I buy books as a treat.”

“The author’s or the publisher’s reputation might deter me from buying a book. If I see either one of them as problematic I won’t be buying their book. Another thing is accessibility. I mostly buy my books online, and because I live in Poland, shipping is a big part of my decision if I’ll buy a book. For international readers shipping can be as much or higher than the price of the book. That’s why I’m thankful for bookselling websites with free shipping. And the biggest factor determining if I’ll buy a book is if that website has prices in Polish currency. Most of them don’t, which usually means my book price is almost four times higher than that of an American reader.”

“I very rarely buy a book on the strength of its cover and blurb alone. I have a limited budget for buying books as well as limited free time for leisure reading, so I need to know if a books is worth it. Therefore, I do lots of research (mainly reading reviews from book blogs) before deciding to buy.

Author blurbs have never affected my decision to buy a book. Possibly because you can only fit a couple lines of praise onto a book cover, and they all end up sounding the same to me.

I’m more likely to buy books that are available as ebooks, since as a student I don’t have a lot of storage space for physical books. Even if books I really really want to read haven’t released in ebook format in my region, I’m willing to wait until the ebook is available.

When I buy physical books, I’m much more likely to buy paperback than hardcover. Hardcover makes me reluctant to buy a book, because I see it as a luxury. (This is mostly an easy non-issue for me, because I read 90% YA, and in the UK, YA books are released in paperback first without an initial hardcover run.)

When I buy physical books, I ALWAYS buy them from a brick-and-mortar bookstore rather than Amazon. I try to avoid Amazon as much as possible after reading conversations about how it can be bad for authors.”

“Content/Topic/Issue – for example, I’m really not into books that feature drug use or self-harm, not because they trigger me, but I just don’t enjoy them, so I won’t buy books that feature them heavily.

Also, while I’ve never bought books simply because they’re in a genre I enjoy, I’ve not bought books because they’re genres I don’t enjoy (which I don’t think was covered above), like historical and sci-fi.

I won’t buy books I hear are problematic.

And I’d like to expand on authors – I have auto-but authors, where it (almost) doesn’t matter what they’ve written, and I’ll buy it, but there are also authors I’ll stay clear of, because they have said or done something inappropriate. (While I may give a second chance to authors who’ve messed up accidentally due to privilege, apologised and tried to rectify their mistake, I’m not here for authors who know exactly what they’re saying/doing and are just trash.)”

 

OCEANIA

  • 12 out of 130 came from Oceania
  • Based on the suggested ones, the factors that notably affect Oceanian/Autralian readers’ demand for books are: income/allowance, cover, author, genre, reviews, recommendation, trigger/content warning and their TBR – where more than half of the Oceanian respondents said that these factors made them buy or not buy a book.
  • Out of the 9 Oceanian readers who enumerated other factors:
    4 said that the availability in local bookstores is a factor – its unavailability could make them not bother to buy anymore.
    3 said that their personal preference or taste – if they know or if they already have they’ll like/love it (in connection to this is the book’s availability in libraries), they’ll also purchase a personal copy.
    2 said that they’re more likely to buy a special/signed edition and also more likely to not buy a book if they already owned or plan to get a different edition.
  • The other factors that were mentioned only once can be found at the bottom of the graph below.

 

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*Factors mentioned only once by readers were listed as “others”.
*Others = diversity & representation, pre-order incentive, being part of a series, home/shelf space, author event, specific content

When asked about the other factors and/or to expound their answers, here’s what Oceanian readers has to say…

“If it reflects my experience as a marginalized reader, I’m much more inclined to buy the book just based off of that because I want to support it!”

“The availability of the book in Australia has influenced me in NOT BUYING a book (not in bookstores so eventually I forget I want to buy them)”

“Avalibility. I.e if I can’t get it in store I might just not bother looking for it or ordering it in”

“i generally only buy it if it’s a book i know I’m going to like (e.g. if i’ve read it already, if it’s a non-fiction book about something I’m interested in, if i like the author’s other books)”

“…when a book is a sequel, whether or not I enjoyed the first book has made me buy AND not buy the sequel(s). I’ve also bought novella collections because I own/am about to buy the book/series those novella collections are a part of (the novella collections act kind of like a complimentary good to full novels in a series in that way)… I’ve NOT bought a certain book because I’m planning on buying/already own a different edition of that book. I’ve also NOT bought a book because I didn’t have enough shelf space”

“Being in Australia, I’ve bought books just because the author was coming out/ having events here. I’m also more likely to consider buying a book if it is signed/super special edition. Books I’m on the fence about I’ll request/borrow from the library first – if I really love the book I’ll buy it, if not I won’t.”

“I only buy books that I have read before. I read all my books at the library first and then purchase a copy for myself. In saying that, I only buy books that I like or love.”

SOUTH AMERICA

  • 1 out of the 130 respondents came from South America
  • Since there was only one respondent from South Africa and there is no need to use a graphical presentation, the factors that affect their demand for books aside from price, was enumerated below:
    allowance/income, cover, author, release date, publisher, genre, recommendation

When asked about the other factors and/or to expound their answers, here’s what a South American readers has to say…

“I have bought a book before only because of the main character.”


BY AGE

What are the notable factors that affect the demand for books of readers under different age brackets?

(Note: Factor was considered “notable” when half or more than half of the respondents said that it affect their demand and when it has been mentioned/listed more than once at the end portion of the survey form.)

  • 18 out of 130 respondents are aged 11 – 19 years old

The notable factors that affect readers aged from 11 to 19 years old willingness and capacity to buy books from the suggested factors are: allowance/income, cover, author, genre, reviews, recommendation & location of bookstore

While the notable factors they have mentioned themselves are: edition & pre-order incentives

  • 82 out of 130 respondents are aged 20 – 29 years old

The notable factors that affect readers aged from 20 to 29 years old willingness and capacity to buy books from the suggested factors are: allowance/income, cover, author, genre, reviews, & recommendation

While the notable factors they have mentioned themselves are: hype/popularity, author’s behavior/attitude, movie/TV adaptations, format, edition, and diversity & representation

  • 19 out of 130 respondents are aged 30 – 39 years old

The notable factors that affect readers aged from 11 to 19 years old willingness and capacity to buy books from the suggested factors are: allowance/income, cover, author, genre, reviews, & recommendation

While the notable factors they have mentioned themselves are: availability, mood, edition, diversity and representation

  • 4 out of 130 respondents are aged 40 – 49 years old

The notable factors that affect readers aged from 11 to 19 years old willingness and capacity to buy books from the suggested factors are: allowance/income, cover, author, genre, reviews, publisher, pages & recommendation

While the factors they have mentioned themselves are: Amazon rebates & being part of a series

*due to the group’s low count, all factors personally mentioned/listed on the form were enumerated above and this applies for the next two age brackets

  • 3 out of 130 respondents are aged 50 – 59 years old

The notable factors that affect readers aged from 11 to 19 y/o willingness and capacity to buy books from the suggested factors are: allowance/income, cover, author, genre, reviews & trigger/content warning

While the factors they have mentioned themselves are: author’s behavior on social media/public, availability in indie bookstore/small town, availability in library, gifting purposes, mood, being given a book token/money gift & having a review copy

  • 3 out of 130 respondents are aged 60 – 69 years old

The notable factors that affect readers aged from 11 to 19 y/o willingness and capacity to buy books from the suggested factors are: allowance/income, cover, author, genre, reviews & TBR.

While the factors they have mentioned themselves are: Mood, home space & wish to own the book

  • 1 out of 130 respondents’ age is unknown

BY OCCUPATION

What are the notable factors that affect the demand for books of readers with different occupations?

(Note: Factor was considered “notable” when half or more than half of the respondents said that it affect their demand and when it has been mentioned/listed more than once at the end portion of the survey form.)

  • 77 of the respondents are employed

The notable factors that affect employed readers’ willingness and capacity to buy books from the suggested factors are: allowance/income, cover, author, genre, reviews and recommendations.

While the notable factors they have mentioned themselves are: hype & popularity, diversity & representation, availability, edition, author attitude and reputation, format, mood, library availability, blurb, being part of a series, & specific content

  • 8 of the respondents are unemployed

The notable factors that affect unemployed readers’ willingness and capacity to buy books from the suggested factors are: allowance/income, cover, author, genre, reviews, trigger/content warning and recommendations.

While the notable factors they have mentioned themselves are: hype & popularity, edition, and being part of a series

*due to the group’s low count, all factors personally mentioned/listed on the form were enumerated above. This applies for the working students and retirees.

  • 35 of the respondents are students

The notable factors that affect readers who are students’ willingness and capacity to buy books from the suggested factors are: allowance/income, cover, author, genre, reviews and recommendations.

While the notable factors they have mentioned themselves are: hype & popularity, diversity & representation, availability, format, pre-order incentive, specific content and being part of a series

  • 3 of the respondents are working students

The notable factors that affect readers who are working students’ willingness and capacity to buy books from the suggested factors are: allowance/income, cover, author, genre, reviews, recommendations and TBR.

While the notable factors they have mentioned themselves are: hype & popularity, diversity & representation, edition, home/shelf space, adaptation, and time to buy and read

  • 3 of the respondents are retiree

The notable factors that affect readers who are retirees’ willingness and capacity to buy books from the suggested factors are: allowance/income, cover, author, reviews and TBR.

While the notable factors they have mentioned themselves are: wish to own the book, mood, and home space


TOTAL

INCOME/ALLOWANCE

  • Income/allowance affects the demand for books.
  • 77 out of 130 said that an increase in their income/allowance means that their willingness and capacity to buy books will also increase.
    27 out of 130 said that a decrease in their income/allowance means that their willingness and capacity to buy books will also decrease.
    26 out of 130 said that the decrease or increase in their allowance/income does not mean that their willingness and capacity to buy books will also decrease or increase.

Note: I admit I could have made the question for “income/allowance” better because I wasn’t able to ask whether if income/allowance could have a negative relationship with their demand, no matter how unlikely it may seem, and ask whether if they can be affected by both the increase and decrease in their income/allowance. We only got to prove that it is a significant factor to most readers and that it has a positive relationship to most and wasn’t able to consider the possibility of it having a negative relationship to some. I realized this when it was too late and some readers have already responded, though none of them pointed it out. So, there was probably no need. But I acknowledge that I could have made it better.)

10_biblionomics_demand_allowance_income.png

 

COVER

  • The cover affects the demand for books.
  • 66 out of 130 said that the cover alone makes them both buy and not buy a book.
    33 out of 130 said that the cover alone makes them buy a book.
    15 out of 130 said that the cover alone makes them not buy a book.
    16 out of 130 said that the cover alone does not affect their willingness and capacity to buy a book.

11_biblionomics_demand_cover.png

 

AUTHOR

  • The author affects the demand for books.
  • 58 out of 130 said that the author alone makes them both buy and not buy a book.
    61 out of 130 said that the author alone makes them buy a book.
    2 out of 130 said that the author alone makes them not buy a book.
    10 out of 130 said that the author alone does not affect their willingness and capacity to buy a book.

12_biblionomics_demand_author.png

 

RELEASE DATE

  • The release date affects the demand for books but not a significant amount of consumers are affected.
  • 11 out of 130 said that the release date alone makes them both buy and not buy a book.
    6 out of 130 said that the release date alone makes them buy a book.
    11 out of 130 said that the release date alone makes them not buy a book.
    102 out of 130 said that the release date does not affect their willingness and capacity to buy a book.

13_biblionomics_demand_release date.png

 

PUBLISHER

  • The publisher affects the demand for books but not a significant amount of consumers are affected.
  • 5 out of 130 said that the publisher alone makes them both buy and not buy a book.
    8 out of 130 said that the publisher alone makes them buy a book.
    16 out of 130 said that the publisher alone makes them not buy a book.
    101 out of 130 said that the publisher does not affect their willingness and capacity to buy a book.

14_biblionomics_demand_publisher.png

 

PAGES

  • The pages affect the demand for books but not a significant amount of consumers are affected.
  • 22 out of 130 said that the pages alone make them both buy and not buy a book.
    6 out of 130 said that the pages alone make them buy a book.
    20 out of 130 said that the pages alone make them not buy a book.
    82 out of 130 said that the pages do not affect their willingness and capacity to buy a book.

15_biblionomics_demand_pages.png

 

GENRE

  • The genre affects the demand for books.
  • 76 out of 130 said that the genre alone makes them both buy and not buy a book.
    29 out of 130 said that the genre alone makes them buy a book.
    16 out of 130 said that the genre alone makes them not buy a book.
    31 out of 130 said that the genre does not affect their willingness and capacity to buy a book.

16_biblionomics_demand_genre.png

 

REVIEWS

  • The reviews affect the demand for books.
  • 75 out of 130 said that the reviews alone make them both buy and not buy a book.
    25 out of 130 said that the reviews alone make them buy a book.
    10 out of 130 said that the reviews alone make them not buy a book.
    20 out of 130 said that the review do not affect their willingness and capacity to buy a book.

17_biblionomics_demand_reviews.png

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • The recommendations affect the demand for books.
  • 0 out of 130 said that the recommendations alone make them both buy and not buy a book.
    93 out of 130 said that the recommendations alone make them buy a book.
    4 out of 130 said that the recommendations alone make them not buy a book.
    33 out of 130 said that the recommendations do not affect their willingness and capacity to buy a book.

18_biblionomics_demand_recommendations.png

 

TRIGGER/CONTENT WARNING

  • The trigger/content warning affects the demand for books but only a few amount of readers are affected.
  • 25 out of 130 said that the trigger/content warning alone makes them both buy and not buy a book.
    4 out of 130 said that the trigger/content warning alone makes them buy a book.
    22 out of 130 said that the trigger/content warning alone makes them not buy a book.
    79 out of 130 said that the trigger/content warning does not affect their willingness and capacity to buy a book.

19_biblionomics_demand_trigger_content_warnings.png

 

LOCATION OF A BOOKSTORE

  • The location of a bookstore affects the demand for books but only almost half of the respondents are affected.
  • 16 out of 130 said that the location of a bookstore alone makes them both buy and not buy a book.
    30 out of 130 said that the location of a bookstore alone makes them buy a book.
    10 out of 130 said that the location of bookstore alone makes them not buy a book.
    74 out of 130 said that the location of a bookstore does not affect their willingness and capacity to buy a book.

20_biblionomics_demand_location_of_a_bookstore.png

 

TO-BE-READ BOOKS (TBR)

  • The TBR of a reader affects their demand for books but only almost half of the respondents are affected.
  • 29 out of 130 said that their TBR alone makes them both buy and not buy a book.
    14 out of 130 said that their TBR alone makes them buy a book.
    19 out of 130 said that their TBR alone makes them not buy a book.
    68 out of 130 said that their TBR does not affect their willingness and capacity to buy a book.

21_biblionomics_demand_tbr.png

 

OTHERS

Hype & Popularity (14 out of 130)
Diversity & Representation (12 out of 130)
Availability (12/130)
Edition (11 out of 130)
Author attitude/reputation/identity (11 out of 130)
Format (10 out of 130)
Taste/preference (8 out of 130)
Mood (6 out of 10)
Pre-order incentive (5 out of 130)
Adaptation (5 out of 130)
Library availability (5 out of 130)
Specific content (5 out of 130)
Blurb (4 out of 130)
Home/Shelf space (4 out of 130)
Being part of a series (4 out of 130)
Book club membership (3 out of 130)
Perceived re-readability (3 out of 130)
Size (2 out of 130)
Time to buy and read (2 out of 130)
Shipping fee (2 out of 130)
For others’ consumption (2 out of 130)
Author events (2 out of 130)
Experience reading the ARC (2 out of 130)
Location of book inside a store (2 out of 130)
Experts
Synopsis
Writing style
Media coverage
Relationship to author
Publisher reputation
Author political opinion
Historical accuracy
Currency availability in on line store
Quality, if secondhand
Relevance to current times
Classroom read-aloud list
Winning swags from giveaway
Country of origin
Translator
Main character
Receiving a book token/money gift
Book campaign
Amazon rebates
Uncut edges and velour cover
Parents’ opinion

Notes:
– I mostly used the respondents’ own words so there are words that are too specific and there are those that are not – especially on the last 23 because each of those were only mentioned once by different respondents.
– I also counted some factors with different wordings but same meanings as one such as;
– “taste/preference” where I include their desire and wish to own the book, and if they think or already liked/loved the book. Because I believe them desiring and wishing to own the book and liking/loving it is influenced by their own unique taste, which we all have.
– As for the “specific content”, that includes a reader whose also an author buying books that has similarity to their current/future projects to see what the author is doing with the subject material, a reader missing the paranormal trend, a reader who buys books with “interesting topic” – which is related to their taste/preference, a reader whose affected by the trope or cliche used and a reader not reading books that tackles drug use or self-harm.
– And “for others’ consumption” includes the case when they’ll buy books because of their siblings and to gift it to others.

Biblionomics_demand_summary.jpg

The data and graphical illustrations presented above might be a lot to take in. So, here is a summary to save you from all those numbers and graphs. What do they say? What are the key findings?

  • Aside from the 12 suggested factors from the survey, 45 more factors have emerged from the respondents. All in all, Biblionomics was able to find 57 factors that affect readers’ willingness and capacity to buy a book.
  • What the eyes often see are important for lots of readers (for bookstagram, matched covers of a series, rainbow-colored shelf, etc.). Despite of this, they still consider or are affected by things that are beyond the physical aspect of a book and things that are beyond the author and publisher’s influence. Hence, the factors that affect their demand can be classified into two (2): internal factors and external factors. Internal factors being those that are within direct control of the author and the publisher, and external factors being those that authors and publishers cannot control.
  • Some of the internal factors are: author, genre, cover, trigger/content warning, pages, release date, diversity & representation, edition, pre-order incentives and author’s attitude/reputation/identity
  • Some of the external factors are: hype & popularity, mood, taste/preference, home/shelf space, book club membership, perceived re-readability and experience reading the ARC
  • Asian readers gave emphasis on: diversity & representation, edition, hype, pre-order incentives, adaptation, authors’ attitude and format
  • North American readers gave emphasis on: author’s attitude and reputation, edition, hype & popularity, availability, format, home space, re-readability, mood, and representation.
  • European readers gave emphasis on: hype & popularity, availability, format, mood, diversity & representation, author’s behavior and publisher’s reputation, being part of a series, edition, and location of a book inside a store.
  • Oceanian readers gave emphasis on: availability in local store, representation, taste/preference and edition.
  • South American respondent is only one and emphasized: main character.
  • Allowance/income, cover, author, genre, and reviews notably affects readers from all age brackets, from age bracket 11-19 years old to 60-69 years old.
  • The location of a bookstore notably affects only readers aged from 11-19 years old.
  • The publisher and pages notably affect only readers aged 40-49 years old.
  • The trigger/content warning notably affects only readers aged 50-59 years old.
  • Home/shelf space notably affects retirees and working students.
  • Library availability notably affects only employed readers.
  • Mood notably affects retirees and employed readers.
  • Special, collector’s, or signed editions of books are preferred of most readers compared to those that are not. Some are willing to buy special edition ones despite already having a copy, while some won’t buy a new edition because they already have a copy.
  • An Asian reader said that they have not bought a book because their mom might see how much they hoard books. (As an Asian myself, I can only guess that 8 out of 10 Asian moms have probably discouraged their bibliophile children to buy more books at least once in their lives.)
  • Adaptations can either be a reason for a reader to buy or not a book.
  • Library availability can also have a negative or positive effect to a reader’s demand for books. Some readers who love what they’ve read on the library will purchase a personal copy and decide not to buy a personal copy if they didn’t enjoy. While some won’t buy a copy regardless whether if they liked it or not, because it is available in the library.
  • Many readers are more willing to buy books they see everywhere or are hyped.
  • Many readers expressed that they are more inclined to buy books that are parts of a series they have read than those than are not, or are from a new one.
  • Lots of readers need and want to read books where they can see themselves or promises diversity.
  • Lots readers do not just care about the name of the author, they also care about their attitude, behavior – in social media or in public place, reputation, and identity.
  • It was shown and proven by the 130 readers who shared their experiences that every reader consider different things before buying or not a book – from those we can see, to those we cannot, and from those we can control, to those we cannot.

What you could learn from the data provided in this post is not limited to what was written on this summary. This summary only covers what I see are the most important take aways from this post.

Biblionomics_demand_conclusion.jpg

So, what are the Non-Price Determinants of the Demand for Books?

Aside from price, there are LOTS of determinants that affect a book consumer’s demand for books – as proven by the experiences shared by 130 readers who made this post possible. These factors vary from reader to reader, and varies widely.

Based on the data accumulated, and in order based on how many readers are affected by these factors, all the non-price determinants that affect the demand for books are:

Author
Genre
Cover
Reviews
Income/Allowance
Recommendations
To-Be-Read
Location of bookstore
Trigger/Content warning
Pages
Publisher
Release date
Hype & Popularity
Diversity & Representation
Availability
Edition
Author attitude/reputation/identity
Format
Mood
Taste/preference
Pre-order incentive
Adaptation
Library availability
Specific content
Blurb
Home/Shelf space
Being part of a series
Book club membership
Perceived re-readability
Size
Time to buy and read
Shipping fee
For others’ consumption
Author events
Experience reading the ARC
Excerpts
Synopsis
Writing style
Media coverage
Relationship to author
Publisher reputation
Author political opinion
Historical accuracy
Currency availability in on line store
Quality, if secondhand
Relevance to current times
Classroom read-aloud list
Winning swags from giveaway
Country of origin
Translator
Main character
Receiving a book token/money gift
Book campaign
Location of book inside a store
Amazon rebates
Uncut edges & velour cover
Parents’ opinion

In case you want to share the results, you can share this image and link back to me.

Biblionomics_Demand_For_Books.png

I hope you found the results interesting. Thank you for reading and thank you for those who participated in the survey. ❤

I worked really hard for this (than I ever did on my blog). If you appreciate this post or my content, please consider buying me a Ko-Fi! It would help and mean so much. But if you cannot, it is definitely alright! Just the time you took to read this is highly appreciated. ❤

See you on the next Biblionomics!

IMG_20190325_001104.jpg


29 thoughts on “BIBLIONOMICS #1: Non-Price Determinants of the Demand for Books

  1. Who would have thought the cover was so important, right? I did think it was, but didn’t think so many people would say it’s that important. I’m glad to hear that reviews do make a difference! Although I guess the results are a little skewed because the respondents are probably mostly book bloggers – I wonder how members of the general public would respond about reviews?

    This was a great endeavor, and I can’t believe you put so much work into it! It must’ve taken ages to put all this data together! You’ve done a massive job here. Good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, and it’s interesting to see the reasons why covers are so important because I can also relate! Like, I srsly picked up a book before because I thought it would look nice on my Goodreads shelf. 🙈

      Tbh, I wasn’t able to check. But probably close to half of the respondents are bloggers. I do not know many of them. Like we weren’t mutuals on Twitter or anything. And I wonder about that too, Eve! It would be interesting to know. But whoever will do that deserves to be paid lol for real.

      Aaahh thank you soo much. I’m so glad you appreciate it, Eve. 😭😍 It did take me days because I was sick and staring at all those data became stessful at some point. 😅 But I do love doing it anw! Thank you again and for taking the time to read this, Eve! 💖

      Like

  2. Wow Karina. You have put so much work into this and it was very interesting. You might want to check the labels on your age category graph. I’m looking forward to more of your Biblionomics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading, appreciating and telling me the error, Veronica! I did check it right away after seeing you comment. Thanks for the help. 😊💖 And aahh me too!

      Like

  3. WOW! This was incredible! You collected so much data and the amount of work you put into it is astounding! Thanks for sharing all of this! I’ve thought about what makes me pick up a book but I love knowing what thoughts other readers have too and what specifically they are looking for.

    Like

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