According to a recent study by the Publishers Association, sales of print books in the UK rose by 8% to £3 billion last year. That’s the highest it’s been since 2012. The market for books in general has risen to an all-time high of £4.8 billion, but ebook sales fell by 3%. In the United States, 47% of respondents to a Statista poll confirmed that they’ve bought at least 5 books in 2017 so far.
Those are the cold, hard numbers. Print books are bouncing back.
Ten years ago, brick and mortar books shoppes were utterly annihilated by the rise of Amazon and the popularity of ebook tablets. Yet, now even Amazon has opened a chain of retail book shoppes to provide consumers with physical books. Ebooks are handy and easy to read, but there is no substitute for the genuine article.
Chief executive of the Publishers Association Stephen Lotinga said: “All of us have at some point in our lives enjoyed the work of a great author, used a high-quality textbook, or benefited from the sharing of academic literature and that is only possible due to the continued success of the publishing industry.”
That puts undue credit on the publishing industry, because by nature it’s a reactionary force. Like all entertainment industries, book sellers and distributors are only interested in what consumers are buying and how they can provide products and services to them without incurring too much cost. Until recently, that has forced the publishing industry to reduce the amount of new authors and physical print books available.
Hopefully, this trend continues and we see an even sharper rise in print books.
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