How to Reach Millennial Readers

book publishers digital natives marketing ebook readers millennialsFor book publishers, millennials can be a tricky bunch.

They appear to favor print as well as offline, word-of-mouth book recommendations on the one hand, while driving an enormous share of social media activity on the other.

Meanwhile, publishers’ marketing resources remain limited, and many are struggling to build relationships with readers where such things haven’t really existed before.

According to experts familiar with the ways millennials consume content and interact on social platforms, certain paths of least resistance may also be among the most effective.

Savvy partnerships with social influencers, tapping into established communities and learning to listen are just a few ways book marketers might be able to drive engagement among millennial readers.

Much more.


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Millennials Twice as Likely to Read Print as Ebooks (DBW)
A recent study of U.S. readers ages 18–34 found 79% read at least one print book whereas only 46% read an ebook, a finding that reflects a similar imbalance Pew researchers recently found among adult readers overall.
Related: Why Readers Still Want Print

New Life for Espresso Printers? (Worldcrunch)
Espresso Book Machines’ print-on-demand technology impressed many in the publishing world when they debuted years ago, before the ebook boom had hit its stride, but they mostly failed to take off. With ebook growth flat, print holding steady and interest strong among publishers in shaking up the distribution landscape, some wonder if now’s the time to dust the technology off.

HarperCollins Gives Subscription Ebooks Some Company (PW)
If there’s one thing Amazon and many (but not all) publishers agree on, it’s that ebooks now compete more directly with other media formats. Parts of the subscription landscape have responded to that competition by embracing it; Scribd added audiobooks to its subscription-based catalog last November. Now HarperCollins partners with a new Canadian service called Playster, which offers games and video content alongside ebooks for $15.95 a month.

Higher Sales, Bigger Losses for Scholastic (Pub Lunch)
Third quarter sales are up 2% at the publisher, largely driven by its children’s books and school distribution divisions. But the company’s losses rose from 38 cents a share a year ago to 68 cents due in part to one-time charges making for an unfavorable year-on-year comparison. Sales continue to drop in Scholastic’s education technology category.

BISG’s Executive Director Departs (DBW)
The Book Industry Study Group seeks new leaderships as Executive Director Len Vlahos announces his departure in mid-June. Vlahos and his wife Kristen Gilligan, Director of Meetings and Events at the American Booksellers Association, will become the new owners of Denver’s Tattered Cover Bookstore.

Goodreads Tinkers with User Rules (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
The social reading network instituted a number of change to redefine how users can interact with one another and with others. By some accounts, the new protocol governing those relationships still needs some ironing out.

Word-of-Mouth Stays Low-Tech (The Bookseller)
One set of statistics in this recap of a recent meeting of UK publishers underscores a considerable marketing challenge in the digital space: word-of-mouth recommendations are estimated to drive 13% of consumer book purchases, but 90% of them take place among readers offline.
Related: On Discovery Question, Answers Vary

Much Ado about Cursing (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
Clean Reader, the controversial app offering to scrub ebooks of naughty language, has stirred debate about censorship, authorial integrity, sexual politics, readers’ prerogatives to consume content as they wish and an H-E-double-hockey-sticks of a lot more.

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