A recent survey in America asked readers what prompted them to buy a book. They could choose more than one answer. The results were as follows: friend's recommendation (49 per cent), familiarity with author (45 per cent), description on jacket (32 per cent), reviews (22 per cent), advertisement (21 per cent), place on bestsellers list (17 per cent), reading group pick (16 per cent) and cover design (12 per cent).
The fact that jacket copy-writers appear to have more influence than reviewers is - at least in this neck of the woods - rather galling.
I'd like think that the interviewers checked the "friend's recommendation" box for the hundreds of replies of "The Page 69 Test, of course!" But that may not be the case.