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author hope clark

Mystery Author Hope Clark has a new book in her Edisto Island series coming out soon. (SPONSORED CONTENT)

Remember in the fall of 2014 when I taught a 10-week Book Marketing class at Duke University’s Continuing Education OLLI program? I’ve updated the class and will teach a 6-week session there this spring. I focused one of the sessions last time on understanding how demographics vary between different social media platforms, then we analyzed the latest reports on book genre demographics to help students learn where their time online is most effective.

I’m in the midst of updating these reports for the spring session and thought I’d share a bit about mystery book demographics as an example.

Mystery Reader Demographics

As per Sisters in Crime’s research: “The majority of mystery buyers are over 50 and not as influenced by online marketing methods as readers under 50.”

Approximately 70 percent are women and 47 percent are age 55 or older, according to Neilsen’s “Understanding the Mystery/Crime Reader.”

Social Media Demographics

Since majority of mystery readers are women over 50, let’s take a look at which social platforms have the most of these users. For this post’s purposes we’re considering Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn:

  • The largest growing new user group on Facebook is the 55+ crowd. (Plus, 76 percent of all women use Facebook.)
  • 60.5 percent of Twitter users are 44 and under.
  • 90 percent of Instagram users are under 35.
  • Women are four times more likely than men to use Pinterest, but only 23 percent of users are over 50.
  • Men are more likely to use LinkedIn than women.

Marketing Mystery Books

The above research suggests mystery authors may have a better chance of reaching their main reader demographic by using Facebook, followed by Pinterest. This doesn’t mean authors should necessarily avoid other social platforms, but instead focus their main attention on the aforementioned.

If you’re interested in growing your writer platform and learning more about new ways, old ways, mistakes, and successes in book marketing – check out the Duke OLLI site to register for my class this spring. Registration opens April 5 and my class starts April 19.