People in the publishing industry are always interested to know what influences a consumer’s book buying decision. More responses bear a common threat and many tend to include the following key topics: cover design, book blurb, positive reviews and book awards.
Recently 200 people attending a festival in Chicago, USA, were polled. They included librarians, teachers and parents who were asked to state, in order of priority, the most important factors they consider when selecting a book. The results concluded that the following were most important in book selection:
#1 - Awards
#2 - Reviews
#3 - Cover
#4 – Blurb
Asked if they were likely to chose a book with an award seal
on the cover of a non-award winning book, 87% of the time,
consumers said they would chose the award-winning book.
This seems to be right. When my junior verse novel, Nobody’s
Boy was awarded a 2013 CBCA Notable sticker, sales spiked
so much the publisher (Celapene Press) was forced to reprint the book.
Ninety seven percent of those surveyed said that a favourable review printed on the front, back or inside of a book affected their decision to buy.
When asked their views on cover design, 73% admitted they take the book’s appearance into consideration when considering a purchase.
When asked if they would still purchase a book even if they particularly didn’t like the cover, 19% admitted they might not. Next, asked if awards and favourable reviews
When asked if awards and favourable reviews might change their mind about mind about purchasing a book with a cover they did not find appealing 82% stated they might be included to change their mind and purchase a book despite the cover, provided the book had won an award or had a favourable review.
A startling 21% of people responding to the poll admitted to never reading the book's blurb.
It is surprising many respondents actually selected a book entirely based upon appearance along with the recommendations of others through awards and reviews.