Internet, Critics Motivate Book Buyers in Germany

In German Buch News by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary


What draws customers into bookstores in Germany and how well informed are they about what they will find there? Cologne-based agency Die Gefährten recently attempted to answer these questions by surveying 400 book-buying customers from the bookstores Mayersche and Stern Verlag in Düsseldorf and Hugendubel in Munich.

According to the survey, the results of which were published in Buchreport, 69% of the customers in the stores purchased a book.  Nearly 80% of those who bought something were knowledgeable ahead of time about the product they bought, primarily informed by the Internet (80%), critics (23%) and customer reviews (16%).

For the majority of respondents, content was more important than price and 80% of them were first drawn to the book they purchased by an advertisement. The casual passers-by entered the stores primarily because they spontaneously remembered a specific advertisement (40%) or were drawn in by a special offer (36%) or window display (24%).

Perhaps the most interesting finding was that 20% of the customers surveyed felt that buying books on the Internet is cheaper, which should not be the case for new releases, given Germany’s fixed book price laws.

About the Author

Siobhan O'Leary

Siobhan O’Leary is a literary agent, translator and writer based in Berlin. She previously worked in the Foreign Rights department of the Crown Publishing Group (Random House) and at the publishing consulting firm Market Partners International.