Happy Thanksgiving! Here in the United States we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this week, but no matter where you are in the world, it’s good to be thankful for each and every day. And no matter what is going on, there is always something to be grateful for. I am thankful that you are here, and I’d like to share with my author and writer friends some very important information about books.
You see, every week or so I hear someone complain about how people don’t read anymore, or that indie bookstores are going away forever, or even that printed books are disappearing as people only buy digital books. Well, it’s one thing to have an opinion and it’s another to have some facts. So let’s take a look at some facts:
Fact: US consumers are buying about 650 million books a year with print remaining the most popular book format, according to Bookscan.
Fact: According to a story in Publisher’s Weekly, the bible of the book world, printed book sales jumped 8.2 percent in 2020 over 2019, and absolutely soared in the first half of 2021. From January through June units jumped another 18.5 percent over the same period in 2020. The pandemic had an impact in 2020 for sure, but the first half of this year things have opened up quite a bit, and book sales still more than doubled.
Fact: And there’s more good news for book lovers, authors, bookstores, and publishers: print book sales across all genres and formats are up over 10% year-to-date through this October.
Fact: Also worthy of note, the most expensive format, which is hardcover, is up over 12%. That means publishers are profitable. In addition, authors get higher royalty payments on hardcovers than most formats, so they are pretty darn happy, too.
Fact: Another huge signal that the book industry has a bright future is that the sale of board books — which caters to the youngest reader — are up an incredible 14.5%. These little kids will grow up readers.
Fact: Another good sign is that more indie bookstores operate today than in well over a dozen years, reversing years of declining numbers. That said, not all bookstores are doing well. During the pandemic readers shopped online and retail stores (other than grocery and other essential stores) took a hit. However, it’s interesting to note that not everyone used Amazon for book buying as this story in The Washington Post explains.
Fact: There is more in this story in The New York Times that was originally written at the end of 2020 and updated on October 4th of this year.
Authors and publishers, take heart. And be careful who you listen to. Everyone has opinions on pretty much everything. They may be right and they may be wrong. It’s always good to do some research and get the full story from sources you can count on.
To your success,
P.S. Here is a classical playlist perfect to play while reading. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
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