From The New Publishing Standard:
The head of the UK’s Publishers Association puts a brave face on the latest numbers from Nielsen, which show digital heading for an all-time high as this year winds down.
Despite a significant drop in print sales, as we’d expect with the country’s “nations” (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) in varying stages of lockdown, UK publishers have been doing surprisingly well this year, and that is in large part due to online print sales, and to sales of ebooks and audiobooks.
Per the UK’s The Guardian, summarising the latest Nielsen stats,
The pandemic has revived the fortunes of the consumer ebook. The format once touted as the future of reading has suffered six straight years of sales declines since peaking in 2014 but this year has been different, with sales home and abroad up 17% to £144m in the first half. UK publishers can now expect consumer ebooks to enjoy their best year since 2015, when sales were just under £300m.
The UK Publishers Association CEO Stephen Lotinga explained,
In a challenging year for the UK publishing industry, growth in digital has helped counterbalance print decreases. These figures really emphasise the enduring nature of books and reading – and that readers continue to embrace books in all their forms.
So let’s get this straight. With people confined to their homes, with endless time to spend on their screens on social media or playing mobile games or watching Netflix… The enduring nature of books and reading prevails, says Lotinga.
That’s great. Nothing to disagree with there. Only… Whatever happened to screen fatigue, Stephen?
Screen fatigue? That was the buzzword in the publishing industry a few years ago when the digital naysayers were eager to explain slowing ebook sales without admitting publishers had artificially warped the market against the format.
Link to the rest at The New Publishing Standard