What Is the Future of the Book Industry?

In 2013, researchers reported that 2.2 million books were being published every year.

Though we don’t have enough time to read every book, it’s worth spending a minute to read about the future of the book industry.

Maybe you’ve heard some disparaging statistics. While some of them are true, the book industry has a lot going for it as well.

Whether you’re a writer or reader, these forecasts for the future will hopefully revitalize your love for reading books.

Books on Tape

Who doesn’t love a good audiobook?

You can listen to books in the car, while you’re jogging, or while you’re doing the dishes. Needless to say, there’s a reason books on tape have grown exponentially in the last couple of years.

They make up the smallest portion of reading formats, but they’re also growing the fastest. Audible is currently the most popular site for books on tape.

To listen to the best audiobooks, check out this list of free audiobook websites.

Signs of Growth

Contrary to popular belief, the publishing industry is not dead.

The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) saw only a slight increase this year, but we should see more growth in the next four years.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the digital publishing space will likely see a greater incline than other areas of the book industry.

COVID is also to blame for the spike in ebook sales, as well and is actually outpacing audiobooks.

Declining Popularity of Print

We will always have books in print.

As we’ve discussed, though, ebooks and other digital publications have taken center stage. To accommodate this shift, publishers will focus their time and money on marketing and SEO.

This means quality content will not be the only priority. Rather, publishers will revamp the design of their websites. The goal is to build a strong brand that elicits a loyal readership and strong engagement.

Bookstores Fighting to Survive

With the diminishing popularity of print books comes the scarcity of bookstores.

Small bookstores, especially, have become vulnerable during the pandemic. Several of them had to close their doors in early 2021 because book sales took a nosedive in 2020.

Unfortunately, even Barnes and Noble is not immune to the effects of the pandemic. In just the last year, the bookstore giant has lost millions of dollars in sales.

Even though there are fewer people reading books in print, Barnes and Noble still has to compete with indie bookstores and libraries.

Unless Barnes and Noble can find a way to attract customers, the future may be grim.

The Future of the Book Industry

No one can predict the future with absolute certainty. The current trends in the book industry may give us some indication, but we never know how things may look one year from now.

Maybe people will start reading books in print again, or maybe bookstores will make a comeback. Either way, one truth is certain: people will always want good books to read.

For more business advice and insights, keep browsing our site.


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