woman standing in front of book shelfPath to purchase

When trying to sell your book and developing a marketing plan, you need to think about the “path to purchase”. This is the journey your reader goes on from first finding out about your book to getting a copy and reading it.

To figure this out, start by getting a pen and paper and writing down the last three books you read. This includes books you re-read/old favourites.

Then answer the following questions for each book (you can download a printable pdf version here). When you’ve done this, think about how a reader might discover your book and what might induce them to buy it.

Path to Purchase quiz

What was the last book you read?

How did you find out about it?

  • I’ve read it before
  • A friend recommended it
  • My bookgroup is reading it
  • It was mentioned in an article
  • I read a review of it
  • The cover caught my eye in a bookstore
  • I was actively searching for books on a particular theme
  • I was searching for books by an author I like
  • Amazon recommended it to me

What made you decide to buy it?

  • A personal recommendation
  • Good ratings/reviews
  • The blurb looked interesting
  • It’s on a theme I enjoy/a topic I’m interested in
  • I’ve read previous works by the author

Where/how did you buy it?

  • Someone gave it to me
  • I already owned it
  • From a bookshop
  • I borrowed it from a library
  • I bought a second-hand copy
  • I went to an online bookstore
  • I bought the Kindle version on Amazon
  • I bought a digital copy elsewhere
  • I found a free copy (print or digital)

What did you do after reading it?

  • I put it on my shelf
  • I gave it away or sold it
  • I returned it to a friend/library
  • I recommended it to someone else
  • I left a rating
  • I left a review

Bonus question: if you didn’t end up buying it, what stopped you?

Other relevant articles: