Research Shows More People Reading Ebooks


Worried that publishing digitally and not going to a traditional publishing house might damage your book’s chances? This is a major thought for many authors, and it doesn’t help that many people are saying that ebooks and ereaders in general are nothing more than a passing fad that will fade with time.

While these people are just as loud as ever, the Pew Research Foundation has irrefutable proof that the number of people who are reading ebooks has increased through the years (, and it might now be the time to sell your masterpiece through Kindle or another similar publishing outlet. Ebook reading increased significantly in several types of readers, and it actually decreased in just one of these groups. Knowing this will be important because it will help you target the right readers with your newest books.

The 18-29 Group

Readers who are between 18-29 experienced a major increase in ebook consumption. In 2011, only about 25% of users in this age group read an ebook. That increased to 31% in 2012, but the major change is what happened in 2014. Pew has shown that now 47% of these readers have bought and read an ebook. This is the highest percentage of any age group (the next closest is 42%). If you are going to target any specific group, then this is the one.

Many experts believe that the number was low because of reduced disposable income, which made it hard for these users to buy tablets, ereaders and other applicable devices. Since many of them now have these devices, they are able to take advantage of the low prices and amazing selection of ebooks. While this is the largest group of ebook readers right now, you might want to target one of the other groups for their consistency.

The 30-49 Group

If this article were made in 2012, then this group would be the biggest. In 2011, about 25% of this age group read an ebook, just like the above group. That jumped to 41% in 2012, which was a major jump and it made many knowledgeable authors target this group. While there has been an increase in 2014, the increase is very small. Now 42% of these readers have picked up an ebook. That’s still a large number, but it’s a very small increase since 2012. At the same time, this should show you that these readers are consistent about reading ebooks. Whereas the 18-29 group jumped high, they might fall back down in the next few months. This group is unlikely to change.

The 50-64 Group

While it may not have as many ebook readers as the other two groups, this is still a ripe group for marketing because it’s increasing at a steady pace. Only 19% of these readers picked up on ebook in 2011, and it jumped slightly to 23% in 2012.

That number has now increased to 35% in 2014, which is a sizeable increase that has gotten a lot of attention. Many experts are saying that they are like the 18-29 group because this group generally doesn’t have as much money for technology, which means that ereaders and other devices have sold slower than with the 30-49 group.

Now may be the time to make books for older readers.

The 65+ Group

This is the only group that experienced a slump in 2014, but the numbers have been low to begin with. About 12% of senior readers picked up an ebook in 2011. That increased to 20% in 2012, but then it fell to 17% in 2014. That’s not a major change throughout the years, and it means that this group may not be best for ebooks until technology adoption rates increase.

At the same time, there’s no harm in trying to target senior readers. There aren’t as many books for them, which might describe the low numbers.

Average Number of Books

The Pew’s numbers don’t show how many ebooks these people read. Considering that the average American reads about five books a year, this is probably between one to three ebooks, but it could be more for some readers. Now is the best time to start publishing ebooks because it’s becoming more popular, and this market has shown that it will be around for many years because it has a sizeable number of readers.


While still not quite as popular as paper books, ebooks are very popular and most age groups are reading them more and more throughout the years. If you are worried about publishing your book online, then it’s time to bury those fears and get your book out there because the market becomes even more saturated.

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