What the figures seem to indicate is that allowing online previews increases sales.
“As a result, leading publishers are increasing their use of online previews when planning promotional campaigns for both new and existing book titles." [LibreDigital CEO Russell Reeder]Data indicates that women are spending 70 percent more time than men browsing books online.
LibreDigital has some very detailed statistics:
The average reader spends more than 15 minutes browsing a book, and previews an average of 46 pages of each book they browse …What does this tell writers? Think about who your target reader is and then ask yourself, do I need to make sure online browsers can read sample pages or chapters? Where should I be promoting my book? Is my reader at the age where s/he’s likely to have an e-reader? Should I be in both digital and print?
For romance titles, [the most popular online browsing time] is 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., while teens do so mostly from 4 to 11 p.m. and business books follow the work schedule clocking in primarily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Adults are more likely to share links to content via e-mail, while younger readers prefer to share within social networks such as Facebook and MySpace.