COVID-19 has affected so many industries, and unfortunately left millions of people without jobs.
When it comes to the publishing industry, the crisis seems to yield a mixed bag of results.
The pandemic struck Canada, in early March 2020. It spurred lockdowns and the closure of non-essential businesses. Canadians were suddenly prevented from going to the movies, hanging out with friends in a bar or attending concerts.
One thing remained constant: “In times of trouble, nothing is more comforting than a good book.”
While demand for books has historically been steady, buying patterns have changed as a result of the pandemic. There are many views on how this will look when the pandemic eases.
The pandemic altered how readers discovered and bought books, driving sales for celebrities and best-selling authors while new and lesser known writers continued to struggle.
- In the first half of 2020, unit sales of print books surprised many in the industry by posting a 2.9% increase over the same period in 2019.
- In the first six months of 2020, the juvenile nonfiction category had the strongest sales gain over the first half of 2019, with print units up 25.5%.
- The increase in the first half of 2021 was led by the adult fiction category, where units rose 30.7%.
- YA fiction sales had the largest gain among all the major categories in the first half of 2021, with units up 48.8%.
- Overall, most e-book distributors and publishers have seen sales rise by at least double digits since “stay at home” orders went into effect.
Many are betting that the rise in reading will remain for some period of time.
I think it’s been incredible to see, although not at all surprising, just how resilient books are, seeming standing the test of time.
What is on your reading list?
Or already standing on your bookshelf waiting to be read?
“Linda has published sixteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish. She has mentored many authors and edited their work.”