How People Discover Books Online
What is Goodreads? Goodreads is the largest site for readers and    book recommendations in the world.    A community of 7...
Our MissionTo help people find and share      books they love.
Deep Reading Data120 million                                              110 million                250 million books she...
What is a “book shelved”?
Books Discovered - aka the To-Read Shelf            63,000,000           books marked as to-read        As many books as t...
photo by ShutterRunner       5,750,000  books marked as to-read in January 2012books in the Chicago Public Library’s colle...
photo by o5com          In January 2012...Every second...   2 books were discovered                       on Goodreads
My Reading Queue
They read books, too1,220,269                books finished  453,529                 books started            (in January ...
Top To-Read Books in January                     The Girl with theThe Hunger Games      Dragon Tattoo      Divergent      ...
The Long Tail                                               16,000                   16,000                               ...
What we really want to knowHow did those people find those books?
19% During RegistrationThe average engaged reader adds over 30 books to their to-read    shelf during registration.
Registration flow is focused on popular books                          0.2Books added to to-read                         0...
19% from searchPeople hear about a book, search   for, and add it to to-read.
Hey, you have to read                                 Ready Player One!Conversation, email, tweet, FB post, IM, blog post,...
Search has the long tail                                         0.2               Books added to to-read                 ...
13% from recommendations       Launched in September, ourrecommendation engine plumbs 20 billion    data points to deliver...
If you liked these books, thousands of other readers              liked these similar books…
Goodreads Recommendations designed to hit                     mid-list sweet spot                                         ...
9% from friend updatesThe average engaged Goodreads    member has 19 friends.
Serendipitous discovery by seeing what friends are       reading and browsing their shelves
Friends also alert you to a wide variety of books                                           0.2                 Books adde...
8% from authors’ or series pages     76% of authors have written        more than one book
Goodreads has great author profiles
Books from authors you know are well distributed                                     0.2           Books added to to-read ...
7% from lists Goodreads has over 11,000member created lists with over     5,000,000 votes.
People Love Lists
Lists are great for finding popular                       and mid-list books                                            0....
6% from mobile appsOver 800,000 app installs (iPhone, iPad, Android)
When you hear about a book on the go...                           UIWindow                           768 x 1024
Mobile is well distributed                                   0.2         Books added to to-read                           ...
2% from giveaways* In January 2012, we ran 1,065  giveaways and shipped 8,035copies. 839,145 people entered.     * Actual ...
Giveaways are our single best free way to        build buzz pre-launch
Giveaways are all about new titles                                           0.35                                         ...
People discover books in diverse ways        Giveaways           2%                         Other                         ...
Search was our top method of discovery, andthose users had heard of the book elsewhere.How did those people find     those...
Do you often find books from the following sources?             Known author                                              ...
Once you get a reader to discover an                          author you’re golden. Known author                        96...
Friends are a powerful way to                                      discover books             Known author     Friend (offl...
Twitter and Facebook are not great                              sources of discovery            Known author             F...
Something fun: Measuring Media PromotionWhen a book is mentioned in the media it often gets a “pop” on Goodreads
Media Spikes                       46                                                                                     ...
Appeared January 4 On The Daily Show                            55                            50                          ...
Avid readers discover books          differently from casual readers         From Friends                           From G...
Fantasy, Science Fiction, and YA Readers         From Known Authors      From Goodreads Lists & Genres   0.5              ...
Romance Readers   From Goodreads Recommendations        From Goodreads Lists & Genres      0.8                            ...
What does “discovery” mean anyway?Discovery means all the touchpoints in the mind of the consumer it takes to  get them to...
Marketing AdageIt takes about 6-12 touchpoints in     the mind of the consumer        to get to a purchase.   The stronger...
photo by anja_johnson“   Between us and our readership, there’s a brick wall    and we have little hammers, and if we keep...
Discovery happens in lots of ways     - there is no magic bulletBut there are a few things to keep in mind.
Long Tail Books  Word-of-mouth is most effective for long tail books.            Focus on your core readers.Goodreads give...
Mid-List Books      Market to existing fans as much as possible.Focus on marketing to readers of your comparable titles.Th...
Bestsellers   Maximize your consumer touchpoints around launch.         Be ready to capitalize on any media hits.   Conver...
Otis Y Chandler, CEOotis@goodreads.com goodreads.com/otis twitter.com/otown
Goodreads: How People Discover Books Online
Goodreads: How People Discover Books Online
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Goodreads: How People Discover Books Online

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A presentation given by Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler at the 2012 Tools of Change conference on February 15, 2012. This presentation analyzes Goodreads' enormous quantity of data on readers and reading habits to explore just how readers discover books.

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Goodreads: How People Discover Books Online

  1. 1. How People Discover Books Online
  2. 2. What is Goodreads? Goodreads is the largest site for readers and book recommendations in the world. A community of 7 million readers who recommend books, write reviews, compare what they are reading, keep track of whatthey’ve read, form book clubs, and much more.
  3. 3. Our MissionTo help people find and share books they love.
  4. 4. Deep Reading Data120 million 110 million 250 million books shelved, 90 million growing at 14 million a month 60 million 30 million 0 2008 2009 2010 2011
  5. 5. What is a “book shelved”?
  6. 6. Books Discovered - aka the To-Read Shelf 63,000,000 books marked as to-read As many books as the combined collections ofthe Library of Congress, NYPL, and the Boston Public Library photo by Serithian photo by andy in nyc photo by cerebros1
  7. 7. photo by ShutterRunner 5,750,000 books marked as to-read in January 2012books in the Chicago Public Library’s collection
  8. 8. photo by o5com In January 2012...Every second... 2 books were discovered on Goodreads
  9. 9. My Reading Queue
  10. 10. They read books, too1,220,269 books finished 453,529 books started (in January 2012) A book is finished every 2 seconds
  11. 11. Top To-Read Books in January The Girl with theThe Hunger Games Dragon Tattoo Divergent The Help The Fault in our Stars Steve Jobs Extremely Loud & The Night Circus 11/22/63 Bossypants Incredibly Close Cinder Water for Elephants
  12. 12. The Long Tail 16,000 16,000 Top 40 books: 5% 12,000 Added to to-read 14,000 12,000 8,000Added to to-read 10,000 4,000 8,000 0 10 20 30 40 6,000 391,031 unique titles 4,000 Top 5,000 books: 56% (99.9% not shown) 2,000 0 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5000
  13. 13. What we really want to knowHow did those people find those books?
  14. 14. 19% During RegistrationThe average engaged reader adds over 30 books to their to-read shelf during registration.
  15. 15. Registration flow is focused on popular books 0.2Books added to to-read 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book
  16. 16. 19% from searchPeople hear about a book, search for, and add it to to-read.
  17. 17. Hey, you have to read Ready Player One!Conversation, email, tweet, FB post, IM, blog post, pin, check-in, comment...
  18. 18. Search has the long tail 0.2 Books added to to-read 0.15 Search 0.1 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book 0.2 Books added to to-read 0.15Registration 0.1 Flow 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book
  19. 19. 13% from recommendations Launched in September, ourrecommendation engine plumbs 20 billion data points to deliver personalized recommendations to each reader.
  20. 20. If you liked these books, thousands of other readers liked these similar books…
  21. 21. Goodreads Recommendations designed to hit mid-list sweet spot 0.2 Books added to to-read 0.15 Goodreads 0.1Recommendations 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book 0.2 Books added to to-read 0.15 Registration 0.1 Flow 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book
  22. 22. 9% from friend updatesThe average engaged Goodreads member has 19 friends.
  23. 23. Serendipitous discovery by seeing what friends are reading and browsing their shelves
  24. 24. Friends also alert you to a wide variety of books 0.2 Books added to to-read 0.15Friend Updates 0.1 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book 0.2 Books added to to-read 0.15 Search 0.1 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book
  25. 25. 8% from authors’ or series pages 76% of authors have written more than one book
  26. 26. Goodreads has great author profiles
  27. 27. Books from authors you know are well distributed 0.2 Books added to to-read 0.15Authors 0.1 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book 0.2 Books added to to-read 0.15Search 0.1 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book
  28. 28. 7% from lists Goodreads has over 11,000member created lists with over 5,000,000 votes.
  29. 29. People Love Lists
  30. 30. Lists are great for finding popular and mid-list books 0.2 Books added to to-read 0.15 Listopia 0.1 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book 0.2 Books added to to-read 0.15Registration 0.1 Flow 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book
  31. 31. 6% from mobile appsOver 800,000 app installs (iPhone, iPad, Android)
  32. 32. When you hear about a book on the go... UIWindow 768 x 1024
  33. 33. Mobile is well distributed 0.2 Books added to to-read 0.15Mobile 0.1 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book 0.2 Books added to to-read 0.15Search 0.1 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book
  34. 34. 2% from giveaways* In January 2012, we ran 1,065 giveaways and shipped 8,035copies. 839,145 people entered. * Actual discovery from giveaways is not well tracked
  35. 35. Giveaways are our single best free way to build buzz pre-launch
  36. 36. Giveaways are all about new titles 0.35 0.3 0.25 Books added to to-read 0.2Giveaways 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book 0.2 Books added to to-read 0.15Registration 0.1 Flow 0.05 0 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 Popularity of book
  37. 37. People discover books in diverse ways Giveaways 2% Other 7% Mobile Search 6% 19% Lists 7% Author & Series 8% Registration 19% Genre Browsing 9% Friend Recommendation Updates Engine 9% 13%
  38. 38. Search was our top method of discovery, andthose users had heard of the book elsewhere.How did those people find those books?
  39. 39. Do you often find books from the following sources? Known author 96% Friend (offline) 79% Goodreads friends 64%Goodreads recommendations 60% Bookstore 59% Amazon 54% Library 54% Goodreads browsing 43% Newspapers 40% Authors website 26% Radio 15% Facebook 14% TV 9% Publisher website 8% Twitter 6% Survey of 3,248 people
  40. 40. Once you get a reader to discover an author you’re golden. Known author 96% Friend (offline) Goodreads friendsGoodreads recommendations Bookstore Amazon Library Goodreads browsing 96% of people say they often read authors they already know Newspapers Authors website Radio Facebook TV Publisher website Twitter
  41. 41. Friends are a powerful way to discover books Known author Friend (offline) 79%Goodreads friends 64% Goodreads recommendations Bookstore Amazon Library Goodreads browsing Newspapers Authors website Radio Facebook 79% often discover books from friends offline 64% from friend updates on Goodreads TV Publisher website Twitter
  42. 42. Twitter and Facebook are not great sources of discovery Known author Friend (offline) Goodreads friendsGoodreads recommendations Bookstore Amazon Library Goodreads browsing Newspapers Authors website Radio Facebook 14% Good for engaging with your TV Publisher website favorite authors, but not great for Twitter 6% finding new books
  43. 43. Something fun: Measuring Media PromotionWhen a book is mentioned in the media it often gets a “pop” on Goodreads
  44. 44. Media Spikes 46 100 40 Morning Edition 2/6 80Users who added book Users who added book 30 60 Fresh Air 2/1 20 40 10 20 0 0 2012-01-07 2012-01-14 2012-01-21 2012-01-28 2012-02-04 2012-02-11 1/7 1/14 1/21 1/28 2/4 80 80 Book Review 1/15 60 60Users who added book Morning Edition 2/7 Users who added book 40 40 20 20 0 0 2012-01-07 2012-01-14 2012-01-21 2012-01-28 2012-02-04 2012-02-11 12/7 12/30 1/13 1/27 2/10
  45. 45. Appeared January 4 On The Daily Show 55 50 Added by searching for book 40 Users who added book 30 Added from friend updates 20 10 0 10-Jan 17-Jan 24-Jan 31-Jan
  46. 46. Avid readers discover books differently from casual readers From Friends From Goodreads Recommendations 1 0.8 0.8 26% 14% 0.6 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.2 0 0 Avid Casual Avid Casual Friends are important, but Avid readers discover books more often fromnot enough for avid readers. Goodreads Recommendations than casual readers. Avid = 49+ books per year Casual = 12 or fewer books per year
  47. 47. Fantasy, Science Fiction, and YA Readers From Known Authors From Goodreads Lists & Genres 0.5 0.5 38% 41% 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0 0 Fantasy Other Fantasy OtherFantasy, SciFi, and YA readers And they’re more likely to are more likely to read more discover books by browsing from an author they know. genres and lists online.
  48. 48. Romance Readers From Goodreads Recommendations From Goodreads Lists & Genres 0.8 0.6 +40% +51% 0.5 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.1 0 0 Romance Other Romance OtherRomance readers are especially fond And they’re more likely to discover of Goodreads Recommendations. books by browsing genres and lists.
  49. 49. What does “discovery” mean anyway?Discovery means all the touchpoints in the mind of the consumer it takes to get them to decide to purchase and read a book.
  50. 50. Marketing AdageIt takes about 6-12 touchpoints in the mind of the consumer to get to a purchase. The stronger the touchpoint, the fewer you need.
  51. 51. photo by anja_johnson“ Between us and our readership, there’s a brick wall and we have little hammers, and if we keep hitting ” the wall eventually we’ll punch through it. - Marketing Manager at a large publishing house, quoted in Merchants of Culture by John Thompson
  52. 52. Discovery happens in lots of ways - there is no magic bulletBut there are a few things to keep in mind.
  53. 53. Long Tail Books Word-of-mouth is most effective for long tail books. Focus on your core readers.Goodreads giveaways can drive a lot of initial awareness among the right readers.
  54. 54. Mid-List Books Market to existing fans as much as possible.Focus on marketing to readers of your comparable titles.They will put your book on the right lists and ensure the recommendation algorithm picks it up. Friends are crucial.
  55. 55. Bestsellers Maximize your consumer touchpoints around launch. Be ready to capitalize on any media hits. Convert broadcast mentions into word-of-mouth buzz.Goodreads amplifies the effect of a traditional media mention and sustains attention for the book.
  56. 56. Otis Y Chandler, CEOotis@goodreads.com goodreads.com/otis twitter.com/otown

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