Monday, June 13, 2011
Liz's Lair: Who's Buying All the Mysteries?
One of the chapters I belong to, the Sisters in Crime, commissioned a 47 page study on the book selection habits of the mystery book buyer. Here's what they found:
“The study, titled “The Mystery Book Consumer in the Digital Age, is the first of its kind to provide an overview of the mystery/crime fiction book-buying landscape, with information on who buys mysteries, where they buy them, what they buy and why they make their mystery book purchases. The research is based on publishing industry data gathered and interpreted by the PubTrack book sales analysis division of Bowker – a unit that specializes in business intelligence for publishers, retailers and authors – with input from a Sisters in Crime survey team.”
Now that got my interest right away. Off the top of my head, I would say the average mystery reader is female, fortyish and older, and loves the female sleuth genre more than the police procedurals or the thrillers. Men, on the other hand, are just the opposite, heading for the cop books and the International thrillers. Me, I love them all. Show me a book where someone dies and I have to figure out who and why, and I'm all over it. Anyway, I found some of these demographics rather interesting and want to thank the great SinC chapter for doing this. Here are the results.
Most of the mystery readers are women, usually over the age of 45, making up 68 percent of all mystery sales. Younger readers aged 18 to 44 represent another 31 percent of the mysteries sold. (So who's buying that last 1 %???)
Another interesting fact is that 48% of all mystery buyers live in suburban areas, while 27 percent reside in rural areas with the remaining 25 percent coming from urban areas.
35% of all mysteries are purchased by southerners while 26% more live in the West, 20% in the Midwest, and 19% are North easterners.
Now here’s where it gets interesting. Most mysteries (39%) are purchased through brick and mortar books stores. I wonder if that's changed since the downsizing of Borders. Anyway, another 19% are borrowed from libraries, and the final 17% are purchased on line. This is another thing I wonder about with the emergence of the Nooks and Kindles and Ipads of the world. Even when this study was done, online purchases of mysteries topped all the other genre sales.
Which brings me to an observation. According to this study, most mysteries are being read by Southern suburban women over 45. Guess when you reach that age, the hormones are going wild and the Georgia peaches really want to see someone take it in the back of the head…preferably a two-timing man!!
Actually, the southern belles aren't the only ones who like a good revenge killing in their books every now and again...fanning myself!!
Okay, let's hear it. What are some of your favorite mysteries and why? One lucky commenter will receive an autographed copy of LIVER LET DIE in October when it's released.