Where do you purchase your books from?

This is the question I asked on Jera’s Jamboree Facebook page this week (and invited my ‘personal’ friends to answer as well).

‘Where do you purchase your books from?’  My question was prompted by an article I had read about Independent Bookshops recently closing down.

At one point I tweeted that Amazon was still in the lead and author Nicola May responded ‘Amazon being in the lead distresses me as an author as it actually costs me to sell through them’.

This then led me on to do a little bit of research.  One article I read on the Guardian website ‘Amazon’s profits are small publishers’ losses‘ concurs with Nicola.  Linen Press tells us ‘Amazon takes 60% of my RRP (Waterstones 50%, independent bookshops 35%).  On a £11.99 book, Amazon’s takings are £7.80.  Mine are £4.80.’  I was surprised that Linen Press have to pay the postage on the books sent to customers. 

Also on the Guardian website is a counter-argument from Myrmidon. ‘Amazon is not the small publishers enemy‘  This article has a positive approach to Amazon.  I urge you to read both articles.

So back to my question and some figures for you.  The format is such that you anyone can add on an option.

‘Where do you purchase your books from?’ elicited the following response:

Amazon                          34%
Charity shops                 26%
Supermarket                     7%
Ebay                                   5%
The Works                         2%
Specialist bookshop           2%
The Book Depository         2%
WHSmith                             2%
Lend from library               2%
Waterstones                        0%

I also sneaked another option in as I was curious to know how many were reading e-books and the response was 18%.

Are any of these different to what you would have expected? Are there any surprises?

I would be interested to know,  if after reading the articles, anybody changes where they buy their books from.


8 thoughts on “Where do you purchase your books from?

  1. Interesting to read the results Sharon. I must admit that I'm not surprised at the leaders although no-one buying in Waterstone's (my favourite when I'm in the UK) does surprise me. Their 3 for 2 offers always hooked me in as I walked past.

  2. Interesting but not surprised at results. I now only buy from Amazon for simple reason of convenience as I can't readily get to any bookshops nowadays. I also only by ebooks now. On holiday recently, a quick look around the pool and on the beach showed only a very small percent were using ereaders, mainly Kindle. This I did find surprising. Expected more considering all the media hype and advertising.

  3. I historically used to buy all my books from Tesco (may have to reconsider that after their recent comments about Self Published books).

    Often pick books up in charity shops.

    If there is a new book that I really want that is in Hardback and I can't wait for the paperback, I order from my local library.

    Now I have a kindle, I'm buying more and more on that via amazon. But to be honest I prefer a book in my hands!

    Great question!

  4. Cheryl – I was surprised by Waterstones too. In the past I used to buy quite a bit online with them but that was the days before Amazon!

    Kit – I think a lot of people still prefer the 'real thing' in their hands. I read more paperbacks although have loads on my Kindle but out of sight out of mind I'm afraid.

    Lou – thanks for responding. I love browsing charity shops to find those unusual books. The only library I use now is my school library – I've read some fab children's books from there!


  5. I found this interesting. I have a kindle so most of books are bought for that. I still buy paperbacks mosy from supermarkets but mainly because our shopping centre has no bookshops which I think is an outrage. Don't like paying postage on buying from Amazon so don't buy books from them. Do they take the same percentage on kindle books I wonder. Some are so cheap 86p for some surely no profit there fir Author.

  6. Cassam – interesting that you don't buy books from Amazon because of the postage. I expect there is already information available on e-book percentages for anyone wanting to search.

    Kate – you're welcome. Do you have a badge I can display on the sidebar?

  7. Ooo I missed this post but really interesting results! I buy most of mine from Amazon but do trawl around a bargain bookshop near where I live too. My local library doesn't seem to have much choice, probably due to cutbacks, but they do have a couple of Mandy Baggot novels now! I don't have a Kindle yet but I do have the Kindle app and download novels to my PC. I think e-books are becoming more and more popular and have to say I sell more e-books of my books than paperback now.

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