BookNet Canada, a non-profit organization that develops technology, standards, and education to serve the Canadian book industry, has released four “Deep Dive” studies looking at the demographics for book buyers of different genres. The reports cover biographies/autobiographies, detective fiction, and science fiction, and the latest, issued this week, covers cookbooks. An infographic offering an executive summary accompanies each report.
The cookbook report, which encompasses 95 different buyers and 109 book purchases, extrapolated that the majority of people who buy cookbooks are either between the ages of 19-29 (31.3%) or between the ages of 55-64 (31.3%) . It noted that almost half (48%) of purchases were made at online stores, and hardcovers outperformed paperbacks, respectively accounting for 44% to 39% of overall sales. The remainder was made up of e-book (12%) and audiobook (2%) sales.
Taken in aggregate, the reports offers insight into current trends in Canada. Paperbacks, for example, while not favored by cookbook buyers, are favored by a slim majority of biography/autobiography readers. The format is also favored, by a wide margin, among readers of detective fiction and science fiction.
As for the age of book buyers, the report on detective fiction--culled from the largest sampling, at 425 customers who made 1,300 purchases—indicated that just over 68% of purchases were made by those 55 and older, with the average age at 58 years old.
Science Fiction readers were spread almost evenly among age brackets, with 28% purchased by buyers between the ages of 19 and 29, and 27% purchased by those 55 to 64.
When it comes to biography and autobiography, the majority of purchases were made by those in the 30-44 age bracket; it is also this group of readers that is willing to pay more for books, as BookNet’s study on biography/autobiography buyers notes, “nonfiction buyers are more willing to pay full price than fiction buyers."
BookNet plans to release new reports, which are priced at CDN$25 each, throughout the year.