October 12, 2009 09:35 ET

Bowker and BML Join Forces to Produce First Side-by-Side Comparison of Consumer Book Buying Habits in U.S. and Great Britain

U.S. Data From Bowker's PubTrack Consumer and GB Data From BML's Books & Consumers Survey Combined to Illustrate Key Similarities and Differences

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ--(Marketwire - October 12, 2009) - Book publishers can finally gain insight into key differences in the habits of consumer book buyers in the U.S. and Great Britain, with the release of the first industry report containing a side-by-side comparison of data from both sides of the Atlantic.

Bowker and BML, the leading providers of business intelligence for the U.S. and UK book industries respectively, have joined forces to publish, "A Special Relationship? A Comparison of Consumer Book Buying Habits and Trends in the United States and Great Britain." The report brings together data from Bowker's U.S.-based PubTrack Consumer survey and BML's Books & Consumer survey in the UK, providing detailed statistics and analysis regarding who is buying books in each of these major English-language markets and what motivates them to make their purchases.

Key findings in the report include that:

--  57% of British consumers purchased one or more books last year,
    compared to only 50% of Americans;
--  Mystery and Romance books accounted for a whopping 57% of all fiction
    books purchased by Americans last year, versus just 31% of fiction
    purchases in Great Britain;
--  Men were less important to the adult fiction market in the U.S. (29%
    of purchases) than in Britain (40%) in 2008;
--  The #1 channel for books in the U.S. is the Internet (23% of books
    purchased), while the dominant channel in Great Britain continues to be
    retail bookstore chains (34%).
    

"This report is valuable because it places crucial business intelligence into the hands of book publishers regarding important differences between their two largest English-language book markets when it comes to who is buying books, what kinds of books they're buying, what is motivating their purchases and where they're going to buy books," said Kelly Gallagher, vice president of publisher services for New Providence, N.J.-based Bowker. "In addition to the noteworthy differences, there are also interesting similarities, such as the data indicating that both markets are reliant on older buyers, with adults over the age of 42 accounting for two-thirds of all book purchases in both the U.S. and Great Britain."

"Comparing our Books & Consumers data with PubTrack Consumer highlights some fascinating cultural differences, such as that Americans appear the more romantic of the two nations based on their book buying, but are far less literary," said Steve Bohme, research director for London-based BML. "The comparisons are important, given that many publishers operate in both markets and the data provides an indication of where the UK market could go in the future, assuming it follows in the footsteps of its U.S. counterpart in terms of, for example, the role of the Internet as a source of purchase and influence on book choice."

The report can be ordered now by contacting PubTrack Consumer in the U.S. (PubTrackInfo@bowker.com) or Steve Bohme in the UK (steve@bookmarketing.co.uk). Pricing starts at US$250 or GB£150+VAT, but the companies are offering a 10% discount for orders by October 31, 2009. In addition, members of the news media are entitled to a 50% discount if they are interested in purchasing the report.

PubTrack Consumer, a service of Bowker, is the publishing industry's exclusive resource for understanding consumer book buying behavior. Data are derived from a nationally representative panel of U.S. adult men, women and teens that completes weekly online surveys about their book purchase behavior. BML's ongoing Books & Consumers survey uses a nationally representative panel of 15,000 consumers aged 12-79 to monitor book purchasing trends and habits in Britain by format, genre, publisher, retailer, price paid, discounting, purchase prompt, purchase use, user and buyer demographics, and buying period.

About Bowker

Bowker is the world's leading provider of bibliographic information management solutions designed to help publishers, booksellers, and libraries better serve their customers. The company is focused on developing various tools and products that make books easier for people to discover, evaluate, order, and experience, as well as providing services to publishers that help them better understand and meet the interests of readers worldwide. Bowker is a member of the ProQuest family of companies and is headquartered in New Providence, N.J., with additional operations in England and Australia. For more information, please visit www.bowker.com.

About BML

BML was established in 1990, and is the UK's leading provider of market research information and business intelligence on the UK book market, undertaking research for individual publishers and book retailers, and on behalf of syndicates, trade associations, arts organisations and government agencies. For more information, please visit www.bookmarketing.co.uk.

Contact Information

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