Book sales during 2020 plummeted during the first quarter due to the pandemic and bookstores closing in March. This year, with stores reopening and people going outside again, book sales saw an increase of 40.2% in March of 2021 compared to March of 2020. This resulted in an overall boost of 22.3% for the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter of 2020.
The AAP also reported that bookstores are making a strong comeback with a 34.7% increase of sales compared to last March. They also reported that all of the “Big 5” publishers reported a good first quarter.
According to Publishers Weekly, the sectors that saw the biggest increase in sales were adult titles with 27.6% more sales compared to last quarter, with hardcover sales increasing by 43.1%, mass market by 37.5%, trade paperback by 21.3%, audiobook by 20.1%, and e-books by 17%. The children’s/YA sector followed closely behind with an increase of 23.3%, with e-book sales going up 66.1%, and audio by 31.3%. Hardcover sales were also up by 30.9%, paperback by 18.4%, and board books by 9.8%.
Educational publishing also saw some increases with K-12 instructional materials rising 24% and higher educational course materials increasing 17.8%. Religious book sales went up 12.8% this quarter, professional book sales had a boost of 12.7%, and sales of university presses also increased by 11.9%.
Featured image via Hollywood Reporter