Wattpad Survey Reveals Wattpadders Love To Buy Books More than Average consumer

 On average, Wattpad users who buy books, purchase three books per month

Wattpad staff Tim Johnson, Ann Tsunakawa and Tim Gaweco set out to discover what the English-speaking members of Wattpad’s community think about purchasing books.

The survey of over 650 Wattpadders in English markets around the world revealed the following about book purchasing behavior:

  1. 68 percent of respondents buy one or more books per month

  2. When purchasing books, English-speaking Wattpadders are more likely to purchase a hardback or a paperback versus an ebook

  3. Respondents see themselves as curators and love to feel the paper, annotate their books, and financially support authors

  4. Physical books have an advantage: they don’t run out of battery or use data  

Why We Conducted This Survey

Our work through Wattpad Studios has show us that authors and publishers who foster meaningful and respectful relationships with the Wattpad commnuity have the opportunity to create a loyal and regular book buying audience.

We needed to investigate why this is and what motivates these passionate readers to purchase physical books. In these reports; Reading is Alive and Well in Britain and Slightly fewer Americans are reading print books the report found that 75 percent of Brits and 70 percent of Americans have read at least one book in 2016.

We also took ourselves as cases in point; we love browsing book shops, enjoy reading print books and still manage to be avid Wattpadders. There is a thrill knowing that you might be reading the early words of a great writer and the enjoyable social aspect of connecting with other readers around a story.

We also know that writers who share their works on Wattpad have gone on to have incredible commercial success. Isabelle Ronin, Lindsey Summers, and Anna Todd are all incredible examples of writers who’ve found success on Wattpad.

But the question remains - do Wattpadders actually buy books? And do if they do - how often and what kind?

Additional Findings:

68% of respondents bought books each month.  On average, Wattpad users who buy books, purchase three books per month. Which is 3x more than the national average.

  • Almost half of respondents bought one or two books a month

  • 17% bought between three and five 5 books per month

  • 8% bought more than six books per month

Out of curiosity, we had our users fill in their own responses of why they like to buy books. Of 200 responses received, some themes emerged.

The fact that books don’t run out of batteries OR consume data was mentioned as a bonus for our tech-savvy audience. Respondents identified as being collectors of a genre or a specific author. They talked about the satisfaction of seeing the book on their bookshelf, being able to feel the pages in their fingers, and expressed a desire of wanting to physically own and connect with the book. They also talked about wanting to financially support the author and how book piracy was wrong.Lastly, they talked about quality and how that they liked reading finished stories with beautiful, professional covers.  

What kind of books do they purchased? On Wattpad we read electronically - so our initial thought was that they would buy ebooks right? Wrong.  

  • 79 percent of our users bought paperbacks

  • 73 percent bought hardcovers

  • 26 percent purchased e-books

How did they learn about new books?

Of course, the magic word of mouth was key here: with 64 percent people recommend book to friends.

  • 50 percent say they found new books through social media.

  • 48 percent say they found new books on Wattpad.

  • 30 percent say they found new books through advertising - which was exciting for us and the publishers who are advertising with us.

  • 14 percent say they found new books from bloggers.

We know our biggest genres are Romance, Fanfiction and Teen Fiction, but we were curious as to what genres of books they bought.

The results were:

  • 61 percent bought Teen Fiction

  • 60 percent bought YA

  • 58 percent bought Fantasy books

  • 52 percent bought Romance books

  • 40 percent bought Mystery or Thrillers

  • 34 percent bought Fanfiction.

  • 30 percent bought Science Fiction

  • 30% bought General Fiction

  • Cooking, non-fiction, history books and biographies were all under 20 percent.

Where do they purchase books?

Data pulled with a location partner showed that our users visited bookshops often. The survey results confirmed:

  • 69 percent of our users went to a large bookstore to buy their books

  • 45 percent used an online retailer

  • 37 percent checked out at the supermarket

  • 11 percent bought from their local independent bookstore.

In many major markets around the world, 1 in 3 females under 24 have a Wattpad account. To keep things in-line with Wattpad’s demographics, of the 650 respondents, 80 percent were female between the ages of 13 and 24.

We really enjoyed understanding the profile of our audience. These are young, intelligent thoughtful people that care about authenticity. In a world in which many entertainment options are free, our community see themselves as curators who purchase from authors they respect and admire. They want to display and own beautiful things and have an unique relationship with the authors they support and books they purchase.