Saturday, July 25, 2009

Target and Book Sales

A recent issue of the New York Times contained an article about the retail giant, Target and the large number of books the chain sells. Extracts from the article are offered here in a manner similar to the discussion about Costco book sales in the post of November 13, 2008.

Target apparently only purchases books from a large publishing houses; thus, self publishers need not apply. However, their experience offers insight into the books they select, their book reader's demographics, elements of the publishing process, and the genre of books that have proven to be good sellers.

In terms of book selection, the titles are usually written by women. The demographics of the book purchasers indicate that:
  • Most are women.
  • They have a median income of $60,000.
  • About one half have a college degree.
  • Some have children at home.

In terms of publishing, the books are:

  • Usually in the 6x9 format.
  • Paperback.
  • A special edition just for Target.
  • The author includes a letter addressed to the Target buyer.

Genre of the books tends to be limited to:

  • Diet books.
  • Children's picture books.
  • Young-adult novels.
  • Romance.

Read the entire article here.


Ron said...

so when promoting ones book, you have to target rich women with spendable capital. Sad.

Tom McDannold said...

Hi Ron: Thanks for the comment. The demographics given in the NYT article pertained only to Target chain store buyers/readers. The idea behind the post was to remind/reinforce the thought that the self publisher needs to clearly identify the buyers for their book.