Saturday, June 8, 2019

Market Your Book to Literate People

Marketing your books means that you must know whom to market to.  Aside from knowing the targeted demographics of your reader, such as gender, race, age, habits, you also need to know where your readers gather – online, in groups, and geographically.  So where do the most literate people live?

According to a 2017 survey conducted by Central Connecticut State University, below are the 20 most literate cities in America:

1.      Washington, DC
2.      Seattle
3.      Minneapolis
4.      Atlanta
5.      San Francisco
6.      Pittsburgh
7.      Portland, Oregon
8.      Cincinnati
9.      St. Paul
10.  Boston
11.  Denver
12.  St. Louis
13.  Raleigh
14.  Nashville – Davidson
15.  Durham
16.  Kansas City
17.  Austin
18.  Honolulu
19.  Lexington Fayette
20.  Colorado Springs

The bottom 10 cities, out of 82 that were ranked, are as follows:

82.  Laredo, TX
81.  Bakersfield, CA
80.  El Paso, TX
79.  Stockton, CA
78.  Anaheim, CA
77.  Corpus Christi, TX
76.  San Antonio, TX
75.  Fresno, CA
74.  Chula Vista, CA
73.  Mesa, AZ

Some major cities ranked low, including Houston (70), Los Angeles (68), and Miami (50).  NYC ranked 28th, Chicago 22nd and New Orleans 25th.

The study looked at the 82 largest cities in America, each with a population of at least 250,000, and ranked them based on six criteria, but none of which included any kind of poll, testing, or direct evidence of reading ability.  The criteria used was: the number of local bookstores, library resources, newspaper circulation in the city, periodical publishing resources, use of online resources, and residents’ education levels.

According to a July 2018 CNBC story, US Census data shows 33.4% of all Americans over the age of 25 have a college degree.  That’s 1 in 3 of those 25 or older.  There are well over 100 million who are under 24, some of whom may be in college or have a degree.

The story also said Wallet Hub, after analyzing data from the nation’s 150 largest metropolitan areas, which was based on 11 metrics (including educational levels), declared these 10 as the most educated places in the U.S.:

1.      Ann Arbor, MI
2.      Washington, DC – Arlington-Alexandria
3.      San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, CA
4.      Durham – Chapel Hill, NC
5.      San Francisco – Oakland – Hayward, CA
6.      Madison, WI
7.      Boston – Cambridge – Newton, MA/NH
8.      Austin – Round Rock, TX
9.      Seattle Tacoma – Bellevue, WA
10.  Bridgeport – Stamford – Norwalk, CT

NYC area only ranked 28th, Chicago 33rd, Dallas 77th, LA 98th and Memphis 112th. Of the bottom 12 cities, four were in Texas, six in California, one in NC and one in FL.

Consumers in 2018, in reviewing a 2016 U.S. Census Bureau’s survey of the 200 largest U.S. cities, found the 10 most educated cities to be these:

1.      Arlington, VA
2.      Irvine, CA
3.      Naperville, IL
4.      Cary, NC
5.      Bellevue, WA
6.      Sunnyvale, CA
7.      Alexandria, VA
8.      Madison, WI
9.      Seattle, WA
10.  Overland Pack, KS

So, whatever criteria you use and whichever study you consult, you’ll find cities that house book-buying populations. All things being equal, focus your resources and attention on where potential book-buying readers exist.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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