Bookstores are returning after facing a downward slide over the last few years.
- Book sales significantly increased in 2021, with U.S. publishers making $29.3 billion, a large jump from pre-pandemic levels of $25.77 billion in 2019.
- In the 2010s, bookstores started shutting down as online sales grew, but as sales rise again, major retailers such as Barnes & Noble are opening new stores.
- Barnes & Noble plans to open more than 30 new stores throughout 2023 as sales continue to rise.
- Reports estimate that women are buying 80% of books today, and popular author Colleen Hoover occupied many spots on the bestselling list last year, selling more than 14 million copies in 2022.
Why it’s news
In the age of social media and technology, book sales began to taper off as more consumers became occupied with phones and television—and as book sales on online platforms like Amazon took over. The 2010s saw a decrease of in-store book buying so extensive that many bookstores had to close.
During the pandemic, book reading became popular again as many people were stuck indoors and could easily order books from e-commerce sites such as Amazon.
In 2020, over 71.2% of the publishing industry’s total revenue came from online book sales representing a 22.6% jump from the 2019 level of 58.1%, according to WordsRated book statistics.
Online book sales went from being less than one-third of total sales in 2011 to nearly three-quarters of total sales in 2020, rising from 32.2% to 71.2%.
U.S. publishers made $29.3 billion in sales the year after the pandemic, a large jump from the pre-pandemic numbers of $25.7 billion made in 2019.
A social-media trend on TikTok referred to as #BookTok is keeping the book industry alive by making many new books trend on the app. Users on the app would make a video talking about a certain book, and over the next couple of weeks, the book would sell out in stores and online.
Colleen Hoover has #BookTok to thank for much of her recent successes. Her books were widely posted on the app earning her four of the top 10 best-selling book titles of 2022.
As books continue to boom in popularity, more bookstores are again opening. Barnes & Noble plans to open around 30 new bookstores this year, while about 200 independent bookstores have opened their doors, according to The New York Times data.