Who Reads?

It was 2006. I came across President George W. Bush’s reading list. Fair or not, Bush was not known for being a big reader, and yet, his reading list included more than 14 books ranging from biographies and histories to “Tuck Everlasting.” “The Great Influenza: The Epic History of the Greatest Plague in History” was one of the president’s recommendations, which would rise to the bestseller lists in the year of the pandemic. It would seem Mr. Bush was a man ahead of his time.

In the final two years of his presidency, Barack Obama recommended 79 books! 

When did these guys have time to run a country and read? A cynic would say they didn’t, but honestly, though I don’t always agree with presidents on policy, I’m impressed with their habits. All of them found time to work at the nation’s most demanding job, travel, care for their families, and read. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends ten minutes per day reading for pleasure. That sounds about right. 

So, who reads? Looking at the Pew research above, White, non-Hispanic and Black, non-Hispanic women under the age of 50, college-educated, urban and suburban dwellers earning over $30,000/ year. The sweet spot is White, non-Hispanic women, college-educated, earning between $50,000 and $75,000/ year. They read print books more than eBooks, but eBooks still make up more than a third of the readers in this group, and 20% listen to audiobooks. 

That doesn’t mean you have to write exclusively for this demo. It means this is where publishers are putting most of their energies and titles. Someone writing for Hispanic men in their 50s could dominate in that category—the same with Black men, and White men. 

You’re marketing is when the demographics matter, not when you’re writing.  For instance, our sweet spot demo also dovetails nicely with Tic Tok users, so focus your marketing on Tic Tok. You best reach men in their 50s through Facebook advertising. Just something to keep in mind.  

Published by Bite-sized Fiction

I'm a working writer. For the past 40-years, I've made my living putting words on paper. Mainly as a screenwriter and primarily for T.V. commercials and corporate videos. I was the head writer on a defunct T.V. series on the now-defunct PAX network. Producers have paid me to write a few screenplays, although none produced. I've written press releases and essays for newspapers, ad copy, business content, short stories, and poems. Publishers in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. have run my work, and to my amazement—people read my words.

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