According to the most recent data of American book readers, print books enjoy about a seventy percent readership while e-books are at about twenty-seven percent. Analysis shows that in general, overall book readership has been falling. And, e-books, or digital sales, have not improved for several years with readership tending to stabilize.
The data also suggests that a younger readership (18-29) is more likely to read a book than those over that age. Additionally, women apparently read more books in a year’s span than men by a margin of fourteen to nine, and, statistically the higher the level of education, the more books read.
Well, how can you argue with statistics, right?
Obviously, these are very broad data and without knowing the specific variables we cannot know how reliable they are, especially for the books of independent authors. For example, what percentage of Amazon or Smashwords readers were included in the study?
Here’s what I know as a three-year Amazon listed author. I do less than one percent of print sales through Amazon’s Create Space division. That means ninety-four percent of my sales are e-books (internationally) and five percent are through Amazon’s KDP Select program. All, not knowing age, gender, or educational background.
So, if roughly seventy percent of readers are picking up print books, they aren’t likely getting them through Create Space or other secondary sources, but instead turning to more traditional retail outlets and libraries where independent authorship is lacking.
I would love to see anywhere close to that percentage in my own portfolio. But alas, I am only another statistic until readers dare to step out of their comfort zone and look beyond customary venues for their print books. In the meantime, I am happy to serve the e-book readers that find me, and am grateful for their support.