Some Reading Statistics and a quick theory

So I read books about writing to improve my craft and I write fiction. I’ve written some self help and they do about half as well as my fiction. It’s hard to find something that people want to read. A topic or a theme that really hits home with a large number of readers is gold.

More often I am seeing, and I am sure you are seeing, successful author stepping back and saying, “I’ll show you how to do it now.” Sometimes authors aren’t even successful when they decide to do this and they end up writing books that are about the things they learned on their journey.

I wonder if it’s better to write about writing than it is to actually write from am financial perspective. Personally I think that if you are writing for Kindle or Kindle Unlimited then you should be reading on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. You have to be involved in what you are selling to. That being said, how many writers are readers?

Some quick numbers!

Pollsters report more than 80 percent of Americans would like to be an author, and in 2011 statisticians counted 329,259 books published in the United States, and 2.2 million books published in the world. Google estimates 130 million books have been published in human history.

80% of Americans would like to write a book and it’s easier than ever. Say half of them actually sit down to do it. Well, did you know how to write a book before you did it?


So most people look for a guide or some kind of direction.

This means that the market for teaching people how to write fiction is huge! In the United States along that 258 Million people who would like to write a book.

2.7 billion books were sold in the U.S. in 2015

Women tend to read more than men. About 77 percent of American women read a book in 2015, compared with 67 percent of American guys.

The average woman read 14 books in a 12-month span, while the average man read only 9. Across both genders, readership also went up with education and income. About 90 percent of college grads read at least one book a year, compared to 34 percent of people who haven’t finished high school. Also, the more money they earned, the likelier they were to be readers.

Looking at this we can see that women read more than men and higher income, higher educated, people read more. So what are all these higher income, higher educated, women reading?

Men are more likely to read nonfiction books than fiction according to Market Watch Opposite holds true for women: 55% of women read fiction in 2012, and 48% read nonfiction, according to an update of a previous NEA report released in 2013.

Some of this data is a little old, 2013, 2012. But it’s still relevant enough to take action on. We can see that if we are writing for a female audience in fiction the audience will be larger than a fiction book for men. The reverse is true for nonfiction books.

What am I doing with all these statistics? I don’t know yet. But I like to look at them and try to plan out the future. Perhaps I use more female protagonists. Maybe I’ll do some target marketing based on demographics. 63% of people in Washington State read fiction. It’s the highest national average. Perhaps some Facebook ad’s targeting Washington would do better than ad’s targeting the general United States.


(I forgot to grab links to all these statistics when I put them in. I found them all through quick google searches.)

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