Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Marketing Our Books

Kristen Lamb’s blog has some interesting insights about why traditional marketing doesn’t sell books. As a matter of fact, the title of the article is: The WANA Theory of Economics: Why Traditional Marketing Doesn't Sell Books (click to read).

She mentioned a large number of Americans do not consider themselves readers. That intrigued me and so I Googled to find out the number. Here are some of the facts I found in an article from 2009:

  • On average, Americans ages 15 to 24 spend almost two hours a day watching TV, and only seven minutes of their daily leisure time on reading.
  • Reading scores for American adults of almost all education levels have deteriorated, notably among the best-educated groups. From 1992 to 2003, the percentage of adults with graduate school experience who were rated proficient in prose reading dropped by 10 points, a 20 percent rate of decline.
  • In 2002, only 52 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24, the college years, read a book voluntarily, down from 59 percent in 1992.
  • American 15-year-olds ranked fifteenth in average reading scores for 31 industrialized nations, behind Poland, Korea, France, and Canada, among others.
  • You can read the rest of the article at: Study: Americans Reading A Lot Less. The article goes on to say teen books have increased in sales, but that was attributed to the Harry Potter books, often bought by adult readers. So that may be an artificial blimp on the radar.

    And, so it seems, authors have an uphill battle—promoting books to nonreaders. With authors, even traditionally published authors, forced to do so much promotion, we need to understand what sells books, even to the nonreading public, and the best means to garner success for our work. Kristen Lamb has written a book We Are Not Alone--The Writer's Guide to Social Media many writers might find useful.

    Has anyone read it? Comments? Thoughts?


    1. I haven't read Kristen's book yet, but I bookmarked it for future consideration. Thanks. It is a dilemma for sure, this 'trying to sell our books' thing ...

    2. Sheila HollingheadAugust 17, 2011 at 7:51 PM

      Agreed, Tracy. It's a dilemma and an ever-changing one. New social sites pop up all the time and authors are told to do promote, promote, promote. Yet that seems to backfire. Oh, well. I'm just concerned now to get the book written!


    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.