Director’s Desk:
Stats You Can Use to Grow

November 2002
by Jan Nathan, Executive Director

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As I was reading the 2001 Consumer Research Study on Book Purchasing (prepared this year for the Book Industry Study Group by Ipsos BookTrends), I wondered how many of our members and other readers of the PMA Newsletter have ever seen a copy of it. And, more important, how many have referred to it before they published their first, second, or later titles.

Perhaps a quick review of this report would help you avoid some unfortunate choices in a publishing program or offer insight into what areas are growing.

By highlighting some information from this survey, I hope to share with our membership an overview of what’s happening in our industry… and, perhaps, why it is happening.


Why Do They Buy?

To begin, after nine years of steady growth, the U.S. economy plummeted in 2001 (as we all know). The only good news from this year is that the inflation rate was holding steady at just under 3%. In 2001, consumers purchased 1.6 billion books. A book’s cover art, a referral by someone known to the reader, reviews, price, and type of display are among the key drivers of purchases in the adult trade book category. Personal recommendations influence buying for teenagers. Store displays prompt most children’s book impulse buying.

Since many publishers seemed to build their whole publishing program around “getting on Oprah,” it was interesting to note that fewer than 2% of the adu…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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