where ebooks are purchased

Where eBook Sales Happen


You know how much I love data! I'm constantly trying to understand the mechanisms by which my books reach the hands of buyers.

Today I was peering at my January affiliate earnings when I noticed something useful. There were just shy of 2000 transactions on my US Amazon.com affiliate account this month. If you have an affiliate account, you know that you get paid not just for ebook sales but for other things that people buy within a 24 hour period. So I have sales for my books, other people's books, and crystal champagne glasses, software and the dust filter for someone's vacuum cleaner.

One of the data items provided in my report is the "Device Type" where the purchase was made: Mobile or Desktop.

Data alert! I've already written about how often my website is visited by mobile users. But I didn't know if mobile buying was catching on, too. Browsing and buying are quite different activities. (If they weren't, we'd all be rich, since data suggests that the conversion rate of an online shopper is something like 4%.)

Well. I broke my purchasers' data into ebooks and other. And the results were pretty interesting! 68% of ebook sales made on my affiliate account were done on a mobile device, vs. 32% desktop. However. All the other stuff people bought (vitamins, movie rentals, audiobooks, song downloads, software, toys. Everything!) looked differently. Those percentages were flipped: 64% desktop and 36% mobile. 

The data on ebooks is the most convincing, of course, since that's what my buyers clicked in the first place. But if we wanted to know: are ebooks usually purchased on mobile devices? The answer is HECK YEAH! 

What to do with that information? Make sure you have links to the rest of your catalog in the backs of your books, for starters. Hopefully that tablet or phone reader will click through to your next book and keep on reading. 

And when you're contemplating website changes, never stop thinking mobile. Mobile mobile mobile. It's what's for dinner. And breakfast. And lunch.