Last week I posted a three-question survey to learn about your book-buying habits. This wasn't idle curiosity--based on the raft of books coming out and my desire to add to their numbers, I have long wondered just how big the market is. Surveying readers of this blog has some utility--you all are the most avid consumers of all things zymurgical. I figured it would be a very bad thing if you didn't buy books, but we have to test these fears. The results are encouraging.
1. How many beer books do you own?
In 1977, there was exactly one way to learn about beer: buy Michael Jackson's book on the subject. In 2010, there are thousands. This question was designed to test whether or not books had become obsolete; if avid fans had abandoned them, hope is lost. I wanted to test intensity, too, so I broke it out into categories. Of the 163 respondents, only 11% didn't own any books (yay!). A third of you own more than seven (yah!), and two t The breakdown:
11% - None
28% - 1-3
26% - 4-6
35% - 7 or more
2. Which topics interest you enough to buy a book?
Avid beer fans appear to be generally interested in the world of beer. None of the six topics fared poorly, but three were more popular. I take this also to be very good news. Here are the results, and since you could answer more than one, totals exceed 100% (the percentage indicates the proportion of respondents endorsing the item):
65% - Homebrewing
60% - Beer guides
59% - History and culture
38% - Technical info
33% - General beer info
33% - Business of beer
3. Do you subscribe to beer magazines?
This final question was designed to test a theory of mine. Beer mags are quite popular. Draft Magazine has about 250,000 subscribers, All About Beer 100,000. I wondered if that was a good proxy for beer fan intensity, or rather represented a different, overlapping demographic. Blog readers like their news fast and local, whereas mag readers seem to have a more national view. And sure enough, two-thirds of you don't subscribe to any magazines. So, from a book-selling perspective, that's probably a slightly different group and probably have slightly different interests.
Dunno if this was useful to you, but I found it most interesting. Thanks all who took the time to fill out the survey.