Food for thought: This blog’s book vendor clicks

I’m a big fan of WordPress, which is the engine behind this site. For a pretty low annual fee, I get a custom design package, web hosting and URL registration, and I get an intuitive, easy-to-use blogging system. And as it happens, I also get some interesting stats on my site traffic.  I have a good idea of where folks are coming from and what they click on when they leave — including the links to vendors selling my books.

Overall, the top-most “click-out” on my blog was for Amazon’s sites (both domestic and international), and it’s not even a close game. Now, I’m pretty good about making sure I link to a wide variety of book vendors whenever I blog, and you can see all the purchase links to the right of this post. I do my best to give readers a wide variety of choices, and thanks to WordPress, I know how they’ve chosen.

Here’s the breakdown of all my book vendor clicks. Note that these are strictly sales links, ones that will take you directly to a book’s sales page on the below sites. The vast majority of these are for my books and novella, with less than 5% going to books by other authors I’ve mentioned or hosted on the site. The figures don’t add up to 100% because of rounding.

  • Amazon: 66.5%
  • Barnes & Noble: 9.6%
  • IndieBound: 5.6%
  • Kobo: 4.5%
  • Audible: 3.5%
  • iTunes: 2.6%
  • Google Play: 1.9%
  • All others (including international): 5.3%

So basically, when people click on a sales link, 70% of them go to Amazon or Amazon-owned Audible, either here or abroad. That’s a lot. I thought B&N would’ve had more fans, frankly. I’d love to see IndieBound and Kobo (an e-book vendor that works with many indie booksellers) get more clicks, but their results were better than I expected. As for iTunes and Google, that’s not too surprising, as some users may be more likely to open the relevant app and search.

Those “all others” vendors, by the way, include Books-A-Million (BAM) as well as a smattering of Canadian, U.K., Australian and German booksellers.

My takeaway, both with these stats and in general: Amazon pretty much owns bookselling right now. Authors and publishers are (rightfully, I believe) peeved at Amazon for the whole Hatchette thing, but consumers are still voting with clicks and, presumably, wallets. Changing that, if that’s what folks want to do, is going to be really tough.

Finally, for those interested in the efficacy of book links on author blogs (an undoubtedly compelling topic, amirite?), I have a click-through rate to a sales page of about 2.2%. In other words, for every hundred page-views I get, I get 2.2 clicks to a book vendor. Considering that the average banner ad typically boasts a click-through rate of 0.2% to 0.3%, I consider those vendor links highly effective.

In fact, you could click on one right now if you wanted. Just saying.


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