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Higher Ways Publishing examines the results of a new study conducted by Kobo, an e-reader producer, which suggests that the majority of digital readers are women.

Women’s market

Figures suggest that for the last six months, the Publisher’s Weekly Top 25 list of bestselling works has been 100% dominated by women authors. Meanwhile, a majority (56%) of the Amazon top 100 bestsellers were penned by women, indicating that female authors play a prominent role in digital publishing.

Industry publication Good Reader reports that the results of a new study from Kobo, which has 28 million customers, shows that women comprise the majority of readers too. Specifically, women represent 75% of the most active readers. Looking deeper, we see that the ‘most active readers’ are women aged 45 and over who on average, spend about 30 minutes per day on their Kobo e-reader.

Driving the revolution

This research, collected from a poll of 16,000 Kobo customers over the space of a few months, also shows the importance of age. According to the study, 77% of the most active readers are aged 45 and above. Furthermore at 30%, the single largest group for digital books is the 55 to 64 age range.

Explaining the importance of these findings, Kobo said that e-reading is “the first technological revolution being driven by those who are 45 and older, rather than younger generations.” Commenting further, Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn said: “As one gets older there are a number of benefits in e-reading… it’s nice to be able to make the font larger, or not to go to the bookshop to find the next book.”

Examining reader trends

Kobo also looked at the print vs. e-book question. On average, readers are buying two print titles per month and 16 per year. In contrast, the most prolific e-readers are purchasing more than 60 e-books per year, with 16% of this market buying a new digital book “almost every day,” according to Kobo. The e-reader producer also found that romance is the most popular genre on the Kobo platform, accounting for twice the number of sales units as the second most popular genre, general fiction.

Elaborating, Tamblyn said: “Romance tends to be a little bit shorter, and more affordable… It’s a place where digital has become overrepresented – it’s quite difficult for a bricks and mortar store to stock the range and selection these passionate readers want, as they can’t devote the space to it. So these customers have come much more quickly to digital.” Prolific romance readers suggested that they read, on average, for roughly an hour and a half per day.

This information could prove extremely valuable to the global digital publishing industry. By outlining active digital reader demographics, Kobo have performed comprehensive market research which could help publishers define their target readers. Armed with this information, publishers can develop more effective e-mail marketing campaigns and social media book marketing initiatives, ensuing they capture the reader interest required to generate significant return on investment.

About Higher Ways Publishing

Established in 2003 by Hayim Oshky and Mike Walden, Higher Ways Publishing helps authors and publishers transform brilliant ideas into commercial success. Headquartered in Tel Aviv Israel and California, they are a market leader in digital and hard-cover publishing for the health, fitness and relationship industries. Higher Ways Publishing have assisted many authors in expanding their online presence in the growing digital marketing world.

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