Psychologist Abraham Maslow once defined a hierarchy of human needs I personally think that a hierarchy is probably the wrong structure; a star within a circle is probably a better representation, or something like the Enneagram (for representation, not content).
As writers, we tend to think a lot about selling books, and we probably buy a lot of books too. But today I am thinking about why people buy books. Based on my own habits, I think that there is rough series of decision points in the process of buying a book.
The standard presentation of the stages of a consumer purchase includes (interpreted by me):
Again, a straightforward hierarchy or process is probably oversimplified. There is likely a lot of overlap and mixing and matching. Maybe a Venn diagram would work. But for purposes of understanding, we’ll let that slide.
Here is my guess at the stages of the (or my) book buying process:
It sounds like the stages of grief, doesn’t it? Here is what I mean
Learning: The reader discovers that the book exists.
Wanting: The book deals with something the reader cares about.
Accepting: The book passes some quality barrier: design, reviews, word of mouth.
Needing: The books satisfies a need.
Valuing: The book is worth the cost in money and time.
So the book buying process boils down to LWANV.
I think I need to work on my acronyms…