Important Book Trends for Self Publishing Authors to Know

As a self-publishing author, it is important that you stay up-to-date on current and anticipated trends in the publishing world. This information will help you make important decisions such as how to market your book, what formats to offer, who your target market should be, and more. The 2012 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Review recently released some interesting information that may impact your decisions as a self-publishing author. Here are the details.

  • Generation Y, those born between 1979 and 1989, spent the most money on books in 2011. Previously, Baby Boomers had the book buying lead.
  • With 43 percent of GenY’s purchases going to online channels, they are adding momentum to the industry shift to digital.
  • By the fourth quarter of 2011, online retailers’ share of unit purchases had risen to 39 percent, up from 31 percent at the close of 2010. Conversely, chains’ share fell to 30 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 from 36 percent in the final period of 2010.
  • E-book consumption, which rose from 4 percent of unit sales in 2010 to 14 percent in 2011, continued to grow.
  • Among major subgenres, e-books had the most impact in the Mystery/Detective category, accounting for 17 percent of spending; followed by Romance and Science Fiction, where the format accounted for 15 percent of dollars spent.
  • Fifty-seven percent of book spending in 2011 came from households earning more than $50,000 annually, up from 54 percent in 2010.
  • There was a slight dip in women’s lead in book buying. Though still a more powerful spending group than men, women’s share of unit purchases declined to 62 percent from 65 percent in 2010 and their share of spending dropped to 55 percent from 58 percent in 2010.

According to Kelly Gallagher, vice-president of Bowker Market Research, “Consumers can now very easily purchase virtually any book they want, whenever they want it and get it at a competitive price. It’s more essential than ever before to understand who is buying and what their expectations and habits are.”

As a self-publishing author, it is important for you to understand your target market and base your marketing plan on their expectations and habits. For instance, if your readers are buying e-books, make sure you offer a digital version of your book.

I’d love to know, how are you using book publishing trends to help create your book marketing strategy?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at

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