Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Who cares about authors' websites?

Yesterday's Publishers Weekly reported that a recent survey found 23% of the 813 readers polled have visited an author's website. It's not a terribly large sample, but that's about the percentage I would have guessed. Blogs weren't mentioned, but they're websites, too, so I'm assuming they were included.

Younger people--no surprise here--are more likely than oldsters to visit authors' websites. In the group polled, 35% of readers under the age of 35 said they had visited an author's website.

If you're an author with a website or blog, you might be a little disappointed by those percentages, but I think they're rather exciting. Look at all the potential for growth!

Turning a corner, here's another thing that caught my eye:

...50% of those asked said they had purchased a book as a gift within the past year. Twenty-eight percent bought a book online as a gift online, while 89% said they bought a book at a retailer. "What these numbers show is that consumers continue to feel that books are one gift that has universal appeal," said Tom McCartin, president of Spier New York.

Every Christmas season as I watch publishers and book retailers scramble to claim their piece of the holiday-shopping pie, I wonder why nobody ever mentions this as a selling point: No gift is easier to wrap and ship than a book. Remember that the next time you ransack your attic for a piece of Christmas paper large enough to cover a CrockPot, or arrange to send chocolates to someone in a warm climate, or roll something fragile in bubble-wrap for protection.

Today I'm going to take a another look at my Christmas shopping list and see if I can add a few more books to it. How about you?

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TrudyJ said...

In the immortal words of my uncle's second wife (who didn't last long in our family, for obvious reasons) "I think it's cute how y'all give each other BOOKS as gifts."

Victoria Alt said...

I always give books as gifts (or as part of a gift package) and I absolutely love receiving books as gifts.

Julie Carobini said...

GREAT idea--I give lots of books, and love getting them too!

Linda L Rucker said...

I often give books as gifts. The trick is getting the right book for the reader. Not everyone has the same tastes I do, so it can be tricky. But, personally, that would be one gift I would love.
As a writer, books are very dear to me.

Brenda Coulter said...

I'm going to the bookstore this weekend. I have some Christmas gifts to buy.