The world has 6.9 billion people. These United States, 311 million before the 2010 census results.
R. R. Bowker book industry report for 2009.
2009 more than 40% of Americans bought a book. (2008 figure was over 50%). Average age: 42. With Fantasy (science fiction) being purchased (believe it or not) evenly by men and women (where women average 64% of all purchases in other genres of fiction and literature).
From Literary insights: Book industry Study Group
55% of (Hard) Science fiction is still bought by men, though 65% of all fiction purchases were made by women. (We may assume (soft) Science fiction/fantasy tends toward more women purchasers).
Book editorial and marketing stats:
@7% of all fiction sales are in science fiction and fantasy (perhaps a bit more because this excludes occult and horror, all of those SF/F stories that get lumped in with mainstream or contemporary fiction and literature, and young adult. I suppose a case could be made for 10%).
What does all this mean?
Well, sticking with just the U.S., we begin with 311 million people.
We first have to subtract the roughly 20% under 13 (the above statistics exclude them)
That leaves @ 250 million Americans.
40% of this is 100 million book purchasers.
53% of these peope read fiction. (Publisher’s Weekly) That’s 53 million fiction readers.
7% of that number is roughly 3.5 million purchasers of science fiction and fantasy.
For me, that is a potential target audience of 3.5 million readers. (A conservative estimate). So all I have to do is figure out how to connect. And the Author’s Guild suggests that 5,000 books is a good sell for fiction… But how to connect?
Sure, there is the standard response found in the word of the decade: “Networking.” Advertise your blog on forums, facebook, linked-in, twitter, winken, blinken and nod. Give readers some samples to chew on. Etc. etc. But I am not talking about simple advertising or even marketing. I am talking about locating and connecting. That is not quite the same thing… if you know what I mean… So, any thoughts?