Book discovery nowadays

This is an interesting article (via PV) on how book discovery has changed in recent years.

Of special interest: 

Two years ago, 35% of book purchases were made because readers found out about a book in bricks-and-mortar bookstores, the single-largest site of discovery. This year, that figure has dropped to 17%, a reflection both of the closing of Borders and the rise of e-readers.

I have to stop and say WOW to that one--the percentage of books discovered via bookstores has dropped that much in only two years!? Holy crap. I mean, I know things are changing, of course, but I am constantly amazed at how fast it's happening.

Anyway, the article goes on to say:

In the same period, personal recommendations grew the most, to 22% from 14%. . . . A problem for publishers and authors of new titles is that the vast majority of personal recommendations are backlist titles. Only 6% of books recommended personally have been published in the past half year--and just 2% were published within three months

Yeah, more backlist recommendations would be a big problem for publishers, because they are rapidly losing their ability to monetize those titles. That's an unpromising confluence of trends right there.

And if you don't want to spend all your time flogging social media, that article provides you with an excellent rationalization: "[D]igital mass media, including Facebook and Twitter, rose just to 4.5% from 1.9% as a place people learned about the books they have bought." Music to my ears....