Insight – Hodder & Stoughton


The book industry is a fiercely competitive world. For every successful author, there are hundreds who end up in bargain buckets. And this is the problem. Historically the decisions made by publishing houses had been based on experience, gut-feel and a certain amount of luck. Hodder & Stoughton wanted to apply science to this lottery of publishing success, so that they could better understand who, why and what had the potential to become a bestseller.


So that we could give Hodder & Stoughton intelligence that was truly representative of the market, with all its idiosyncrasies, we carried out a number of qualitative research studies that encompassed a number of titles and subjects and involved us interviewing a broad range of readers. These included: 

· Mixed Gender 

· Age (16-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55+) 

· Region (London, South East, South West, W. Midlands, E. Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside, North West and N. Ireland, East Anglia, Wales, Scotland) 

· Demographic (AB, C1, C2, DE) 

· Working Status (Working, Not working) 

Armed with enough information to sink a very buoyant and particularly unsinkable boat, we highlighted not only current and future trends but crucially gave Hodder & Stoughton a deeper understanding of their customers, indicating both barriers and triggers to purchase.


Hodder & Stoughton quickly realised that they could go to market with some authority and, within months launched a number of highly successful biographies – success that was guaranteed thanks to the depth and breadth of our research findings.