If you're curious about trends regarding the ebook consumer and the digital book market, Publishers Marketplace ran a recap today in their Daily newsletter about BookBub's presentation at the BEA conference. For those of you who are unaware, Bookbub is one of the largest, most popular book blast marketing services for discounted books --both indie and traditionally published--and currently claims to be the major marketing source of sales for every 1 in 50 ebooks.
We think it is important to understand BookBub's place within the discount ebook promotional space -- although we think it's more interesting to glean trends among ebook readers/buyers that ultimately affect the publishing industry as a whole.
Note that the demographics of BookBub's "average" readership is OVERWHELMINGLY skewed to older middle-class female readers (which is why their pricing to promote romance and erotic romance books is higher than for all other genres). Is this just a Bookbub thing or an overall readers thing (we suggest it's the latter, which is why romance and erotic romance writers are crushing it in the indie world of digital self-publishing).
Also note that 95% of their readers have tried an unknown author because of a price promotion, which points to one of the very few advantages that indie authors still have over traditional authors -- the ability to heavily discount the price of their books and make it up on increased volume of sales.
Josh Schanker of fast-growing BookBub presented some data intended to profile "price-sensitive ebook readers" at a BEA panel, based on a random survey of thousands of BookBub members earlier this month. The company "believes BookBub members are representative of bargain readers as a whole."
By their account, bargain ebook buyers are female (84 percent), 45 or older (70 percent); empty-nesters (58 percent); with higher-than-average income (64 percent); who read four or more books a month (59 percent). And most of them buy regularly-priced ebooks (77 percent) as well as discounted ones.
Interestingly, their "platform share" is 49 percent Kindle; 26 percent Apple; 15 percent Nook; and 10 percent Android -- overwhelmingly on tablets (60 percent). More than 60 percent read hardcovers and more than 70 percent read trade paperbacks, though two-thirds say their print reading has declined over the past two years.
As you might expect, they look to bargain ebooks for discovery -- 95 percent have tried an unknown author because of an ebook price promotion and 63 percent say they have purchased other books by an author they discovered as part of a promotion.