Thursday, July 4, 2013

Do you judge a book by the cover? - Opinion Poll Reveals Determining Factors for how people make book selections

From a publishing standpoint, those in the industry are always asking the question... "Exactly how do people go about making a book selection?"   Most responses bear a common thread and many tend to include the following key topics:

Cover -  (sure, they say don't judge a book by the cover, yet we all seem to do this).
Blurb - the text on the back cover that offers a teaser stating what the book is about.
Reviews - recommendations by sources whose opinions can be trusted.
Awards - third party endorsements stating a book is worthy of note.

While at the Printer's Row Lit Fest in Chicago, we decided to perform our own research and we think you'll be intrigued by the results.

We polled over 200 people (including librarians, teachers and parents) and asked them to state, in order of priority, the most important factors they consider when selecting a book.  --And here's what we found.


1) Awards
2) Reviews
3) Cover
4) Blurb

Additionally, we asked consumers for their thoughts on the following:

How likely are you to choose a book bearing an award seal on the cover over a non-award winning book?
Awards  - 87% of the time, consumers will choose an award winning book over a non-award winning book.

Would you be more inclined to purchase a book bearing a favorable review printed on the book?
Reviews - 97% of people say that a favorable review printed on the front, back or inside of the book does affect their decision to buy.

Do you judge a book by the cover?
Cover - When asked their views on cover design, 73% admitted they take the book's appearance into consideration when buying a book.  - When asked if they would still purchase a book even if they didn't particularly like the cover, 19% admitted they might not.  When asked if awards and favorable reviews might change their mind about purchasing a book with a cover they did not particularly like,  82% stated they might be inclined to change their mind and purchase the book despite the cover if the book had won an award, or had a favorable review. 

Does the book's introduction statement impact your decision to buy?
Blurb - A startling 21% of people responding to our poll admitted to never reading the book's blurb.  We were surprised to learn how many respondents actually selected a book entirely based upon appearance along with the recommendations of others through awards and reviews.   

How do these responses compare with your own method of selecting a book?  - We'd love to hear your thoughts. 

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Reviews & Awards

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