Ever since I’ve been blogging (and from looking at my archives, I’ve been blogging since 2007 (which, wow)), the question has come up: But do book blogs even SELL books? Does anyone take that recommendation to a store and BUY a book? Book bloggers and have been pounding their fist on the table insisting, YES! Books are being bought based on OUR recommendations. Unfortunately, all of the proof has been anecdotal.
I was reading the latest issue of Shelf Awareness (a newsletter primarily for bookstores/booksellers) when I stumbled across a survey of consumer purchasing behavior. Obviously this survey was done specifically for bookstores — information such as whether more men or women bought books, their socioeconomic standing, etc. One of the questions asked was readers’ principle ways of finding out about new titles. Personal recommendations account for 49.2%, bookstore staff recommendations account for 30.8%, and if you continue reading, it turns out that 12.1% of readers polled find out about new titles from blogs.
That’s huge. That’s a big enough chunk of the pie to have to have a piece of the pie showing blogs as a possibility. I don’t think any blogger claimed that they had more influence than, say, a bookseller at a local bookstore, but we do, in fact, have influence.
Obviously I didn’t need proof before now since I already knew this from experience, but it’s kinda nice to have it.
And just in case you can’t get the words too legit, too legit to quit hey hey…