UK consumer book sales have risen 7% to £2.1bn last year.
A demand for fiction and nonfiction books has increased as well as audio-book sales going up by 37% also.
More than 200 million print books were sold last year, making it the first time since 2012 that number has been exceeded – according to an estimate by sales monitor Nielsen BookScan.
Some bestsellers are The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo, and The World’s Worst Parents by David Walliams and Tony Ross.
People have “rediscovered their love of reading” in lockdown, the industry body says.
Although there has been an increase in book sales, the opposite has happened to educational books.
Sales have slumped as schools were shut on and off for months since l ast March. The sales of school textbooks and word books fell by a fifth.
“…We shouldn’t ignore the fact that it’s been a particularly challenging year for education publishers and many smaller publishers” Stephen Lotinga, chief executive of the Publishers Association, tells BBC.
Despite the series of lockdowns last year, bookshops have managed to stay open due to the increase of book printing, and some bookshops, like the independent, Gay’s The Word, offering book pick-ups.
“The first-week book shops opened in June, the print was up 31% in both volume and value against the same week in 2019, essentially reaching November levels – and that was only with bookshops in England open” Kiera O’Brien, charts editor at the Bookseller, tells The Guardian.
Although there has been a significant rise in sales, other authors have suffered.
“But we shouldn’t ignore the fact that it’s been a particularly challenging year for education publishers and many smaller publishers,” Lotinga says
“It’s also been a hugely difficult time for many booksellers and authors whose livelihoods have been enormously disrupted.”
The Society of Authors’ emergency fund for authors facing financial hardship has given out £1.3m to just over 1,000 authors to support them during tough times.
By Mya Bailey