Why book sales are going up since the pandemic broke down

Printed book unit sales in the U.S. in 2020 have hit a record high. There has been in the USA more than 750 million sales of printed books. This date was published by the website Statstica, and it shows a growth of 8.2 percent, the highest increase since 2010 in book sales.

During pre-pandemic times there has was a decrease in reading printed media, such as magazines and newspapers, and the sale of books was getting less and less popular since the year 2012. The industry was showing a huge decline in readers with the appearance of online media. However, this suddenly changed in 2020 when the lockdown started worldwide in March.  When it comes to sales, for bookstores, to have an idea of how many books will be sold each year depends on the success of key months across the twelve-month period with key months as August, September, December, and January.

When it comes to trade book sales, 2018 was a good year for revenue. Adult fiction and non-fiction generated over 5.1 billion U.S. dollars, showing growth from 2017, and revenue from religious presses grew from 568 to 593.7 million in the same time span. The categories which are less profitable are university presses, professional books, and educational materials, all of which have been consistently dropping in revenue since 2014.



In other countries such as Spain, where the electronic book arrived in Spain during a crisis in the sector, with a 25% drop in turnover in 2008 from the traditional printed format. The reading indexes did not stop plummeting, and this new option, although not yet consolidated as a decisive relief, began to grow timidly. Little by little the catalog has increased, subscriptions, rentals and purchase platforms, and options such as virtual libraries have contributed to energise this emerging market. Part of this increase in online sales is also due to the international SEO strategies that booksellers worldwide are implementing.

In this situation of the coronavirus pandemic in which we find ourselves, with millions of people confined to their homes, digital entertainment has boomed, and it has become in most cases the only option during lockdown. For that reason, the electronic book market has reached some historical data since its appearance in Spain, with an increase of 50% in the sale of 'ebooks' in 2020.



The COVID-19 crisis forced bookstores and libraries to close, prompting a resurgence in e-book reading. The e-book market has been in decline for the past six years, but with the pandemic, libraries and publishers are reporting a surge of new interest.

For example, according to OverDrive, which serves 90% of libraries in the United States, e-book downloads have risen 53% on average since before mid-March. Children, or adults who buy children's books, have increased their reading of e-books the most, according to the company. Purchases of non-fiction e-books for young people have increased by 122%, and those of youth fiction by 93%.

 One of the best sellers of 2020 was the book written by Barack Obama, “A Promised Land” and published by Random House. Another successful book in 2020 was the book “Migrations: A Novel” by Charlotte McCaughey, and this book was one of the bestsellers in Amazon. Another popular book that has been on the list in 2020 was the book “Sapiens: A Graphic History, the Birth of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. This book is a comic adaptation of the original book Sapiens, and it includes 250 pages of illustrated graphics. Cooking books have also been remarkably successful last year in the lists, especially the ones related with air frying techniques.

The system has also seen 343,000 people request new digital library cards since the beginning of March, more than double the number created in all of last year. The OverDrive catalog includes more than 4 million digital books, including both e-books and downloadable audio books.


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  1. author
    27 Aug 2019
    Tomas Mandy

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    1. author
      27 Aug 2019
      Britney Millner

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  2. author
    27 Aug 2019
    Simon Downey

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