book industry has had its share of winners and losers during Covid. But 2021
will be a victory for everyone. I guarantee it!
Book sales were up during the pandemic but bookstore businesses saw big hits to their bottom lines, suffering from closures, capacity limitations, and a fearful shopping public. But as more stores open up and foot traffic rises as surrounding stores and restaurants reopen, bookstores will see big gains.
Though a record number of books were published in 2020, a good number got postponed due to production delays and a concern over an inability to market them with in-person events. Look for even more books to be launched in 2021 with a crazy explosion from the Big 4 this summer.
Publishers lost time and resources shifting their operations to the virtual world, but have adjusted to now see how they could live in a hybrid existence. They will be more efficient and cost-effective as they combine technology and human capital, both in person and remotely.
Sales are up in 2021 and print sales are up over 25 percent from this point last year, which was largely a period of time that was not yet impacted by Covid in 2020. This is the biggest indicator that books are exploding.
As millions return to mass transit commutes, more people will be reading books. Same with travel, for business and pleasure. As we see sharp rises in such travel, there will be a proportionate increase in book reading.
Maybe there is a coming Netflix backlash. After all, what is left for you to binge? Go read a book!
Also, don’t forget that books are sold everywhere, so the more people who go to gift shops, airport stores, and retailers that sell books along with other wares, the more book sales will rise.
I don’t see anything negatively impacting the book market this year, save for a Covid relapse, but that is highly unlikely. Vaccines and new treatments, coupled with behavioral modifications are reigning this in, though I do think we will see one more spike in April due to spring break, Easter/Passover, and states reopening too fast.
Let’s also not forget how the return of public events in the second half of this year will push book sales further. When museums, libraries, conventions, book stores, book fairs, street fairs, seminars, concerts, plays, and huge events re-open, look for books to be sold in huge chunks.
Another area to look at is gift-giving. As more people gather to go back to celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, baby namings, and scores of milestones, books will be given as gifts.
Increased in-person socializing will no doubt spur more discussions of and referrals for books. In fact, book clubs will return in full force. Just seeing more people reading books will inspire you to get a book.
Covid is here to stay. But if it becomes something no more disruptive than the flu, life will return to normal, and I guarantee the book industry, across the board, will soar this year.
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: .