Book Marketing

Why People Buy Books

Lesson 3 Chapter 1 Module 1

Emotion or Logic?  

What Drives People to Buy Books?

How Understanding the Key Purchase Drivers Will Increase Your Sales


While there can be numerous reasons why people buy a specific book they can be consolidated into 5 main purchase drivers. Knowing the emotional or logical reasons that compel people to buy books is the basis for several of the actions we will be taking throughout this course.

1. The Reader Knows The Author

Have you ever met or made a connection with a famous person? A rock star? An actor? A sports star? If you have had a positive interaction with a celebrity, you are more likely to follow them or notice them wherever they appear.

The same thing is true with authors and their readers.

People want to buy from people they know, like, and trust. Someone they feel is relatable. While it’s impossible to make a personal connection with your entire target audience individually there are several ways that you can connect with large numbers of people at once.

  • Speaking engagements - either in person or on a podcast.
  • Interviews or articles on a blog or other publication.
  • Your website, social media activity and other online presence.
  • Loyal readers of your previous books.          

This is one of the top reasons why people buy books, so we're going to be focusing heavily on this throughout our marketing efforts.

2. The Book is Recommended by Someone the Reader Trusts

When a friend, family member, or coworker recommends a book, people take note.  Word of mouth  helps a book gain traction - and more importantly -  sales!  

Books can be recommended by trusted people or resources in a number of ways:

  • By an online influencer relevant to your target audience.
  • Through online review sites such as through GoodReads, social media posts, or forums.
  • And of course from Amazon reviews. Amazon has created an extensive review system and people generally trust the reviews on Amazon.

3. The Book Meets a Need

How we choose what we buy is generally a personal preference, but the fact remains that we purchase things to meet a need.

Buyers purchase a book to the recipient:

  • Solve their problems,
  • Learn something,
  • Improve themselves,
  • Or to be entertained.

Explaining how your book fills that need is essential to acquiring this market share.

4. The Reader Reads a Free Excerpt

Carefully written free excerpts are vital to show your reader what you want them to understand and remember about your book. Equally as important is that free excerpts help prevent bad reviews by allowing a reader to make sure your writing style and content meet their needs.

If a reader is unsure about you as an author they have never heard of before, this is a great opportunity to move them one-step closer to purchasing.

5. The Reader Buys on Impulse

We've ALL done it, myself included, seen something we absolutely couldn’t resist because of the instant, and often unexplained, connection we felt to an inanimate object. What draws buyers in initially is most likely the book’s cover - one of your book’s top marketing tools.

In the next lesson, we're going to go over how to ensure we have a book cover that will draw people in and create that positive emotional response necessary to catch impulse buyers.