A book trend that I cannot ignore is that within the last year, my book buying habits have completely changed.
First, the economy blows and while I have a nice job with a good, smart company, we’re pinching pennies here at Chez Pacheco. I make my lunch. Cutting down on the coffee shop trips (sadness). Bargain hunting at the wine store. Curtailing travel. Etc. If you haven’t personally received the message it’s time to circle the wagons, um, it’s time to circle the wagons.
Second, I purchase many books. Did I mention I love books?
I spent, on the average, $300 less in books from June ‘08 to June ‘09 than the year previous. However, that is just me. I have increased the amount of money I spend on books for the family. The family dramatically increased their book consumption, and even while we are heavy library users, there is value in owning your own book and supporting our favorite authors with purchasing dollars.
Let’s make this personal: I bought books to read for me and me alone. And many of them I found through word-of-mouth via social media. This is different from how I was buying books merely a year ago. Completely.
Let me give you an example of books for me me me:
|Title||Author||How Found||Found Notes|
|Cracked Up to Be||Courtney Summers||Social Media||Blog link to author’s blog via a Tweet|
|Monster Hunter International||Larry Correia||Social Media||Blog link to author’s blog|
|Better to Beg Forgiveness||Michael Z. Williamson||Me||I purchase all this author’s books|
|The Pirate King||R.A. Salvatore||Me||I purchase all this author’s Drizzt books|
|When the Whistle Blows||Fran Slayton||Social Media|
|Silver Phoenix||Cindy Pon||Social Media||Blog link to author’s blog|
|Faery Rebel: Spell Hunter||R. J. Anderson||Social Media||Blog link to author’s blog|
|Old Man’s War||John Scalzi||Social Media||Email News Letter/Blog link to Amazon|
|Contract with Chaos||Michael Z. Williamson||Me||I purchase all this author’s books|
|Effective Defense : The Woman, the Plan, the Gun||Gila Hayes||In person recommendation||Research|
|Unwind||Neal Shusterman||Social Media||Blog link to Amazon|
|Storm from the Shadows||David Weber||Me||I buy all Honorverse books|
|Rite of Passage||Alexei Panshin||Me||Replacement for lost book|
|Stewards of the Flame||Sylvia Engdahl||Social Media||Author’s Website|
|The Master of Norriya||Wayland Drew||Me||Replacement for lost book|
|Memoirs of Alcheringia||Wayland Drew||Me||Replacement for lost book|
|Nightwalker||Jocelynn Drake||Social Media||Blog link to Amazon|
|Off Armageddon Reef||David Weber||Me||Browsing in Barnes and Nobel|
|Identity and Control: How Social Formations Emerge (Second Edition)||Harrison C. White||Me||Research|
|The World Without Us||Alan Weisman||Social Media||Google Hit via Research|
|Chindi||Jack McDevitt||In person recommendation||Rare in bookstore recommendation|
The prior year before that? One or two books in the “Social Media” category. I was not on Twitter. I did not use blogs for book purchasing decisions. I found books either by browsing the bookstore or by browsing Amazon or by talking to friends in person.
Let me reiterate this:
- Prior to becoming active in social media, how found was mainly “Me”
- After becoming active in online communities, online word-of-mouth recommendations carried significant weight in my book purchasing dollars
- I spent $300 less on books for myself over the same time period
Adjust or die.
How many books have people bought in the fiscal year based on my recommendations?
What is next year going to hold as the economy tanks further?
Keep your eyes wide open when making plans.
Is this the beginning of the social media revolution for books?
Adjust. Or. Die.