May 16, 2022

New Research: What Influences Canadian Book Buyers?

From BookNet Canada:

In 2013, 40% of book buyers discovered the title they purchased online, according to a report released today by BookNet Canada. The Canadian Book Consumer 2013: Book Purchases by Channel is the second in a series of three reports based on quarterly surveys conducted by BookNet Canada in 2013.


The report also investigates if purchases of certain book genres are more likely to be impulsive or planned. For example, book purchases at grocery stores and non-book retailers were the most likely to be impulsive rather than planned. And for 6% of book purchases at grocery stores, the buyer was made aware of that title through a radio broadcast, whereas for other channels, only about 3% of sales were attributed to radio.

From a BookNet Canada Blog Post

In both 2012 and 2013, we found an extremely high correlation between online discovery and online purchase; similarly, there is a high correlation between discovering books in-person and ultimately purchasing books from a bricks-and-mortar retailer.

People who purchase a print book from an online retailer or download a book from an ebook or audio site are the most likely to have read a customer review, and these reviews rank higher as awareness factors than newspaper reviews (e.g., a book review from The New York Times). People who purchase their books from non-book retailers are significantly more likely to have become aware of books through in-store interactions.


Close to two-thirds of Biography & Autobiography book buyers (63%) and Health & Fitness book buyers (60%) found their books through online experiences, compared to just over a third of History buyers (35%). 34% of Espionage/Thriller buyers and 21% of Mystery/Detective buyers were influenced by an in-store experience—since purchasers of these genres were likely to have planned out a specific time to buy a book, without having a specific title in mind, they were probably relying on store selection and merchandising to discover new or popular titles.

Blog Post Includes Chart: Awareness Factors by Method of Purchase

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Learn More. Details About the Complete BookNet Canada Report

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.