2020 was a pivotal year for publishers and readers alike, figures now reveal.
Updated: Feb 25, 2022
The pandemic forced a change in people’s social habits, people read books more often than they had previously. A few years ago it was predicted that traditional books would be replaced by technology driven literature as more and more people took advantage of book applications on their smartphones and tablets. However, the demise of print format books has been overestimated.
The statistics for 2020 make for interesting reading.
According to a recent Guardian article (link below), book sales reached 200m for the first time since 2012, according to a Neilsen survey estimate. Despite bookshops being closed during two lockdown periods, book sales grew by 5.2% over the previous year, worth £1.76bn, a rise of 5.5% over 2019.
The data is backed up by opinion from Waterstones and from the Bookseller magazine, who opined, “people were... making the effort to go to high-street and independent bookshops while they could, and spending a lot of money in one go.”
However, on a more cautionary note, Nicola Solomon at the Society of Authors said that despite the strong overall performance, many authors were still struggling. “Book sales are up. We just don’t believe they are up across the board,” she said. “Big names, established series, even some newcomers have done well, but plenty of people have suffered.”