From The New Publishing Standard:
“The summer is turning out to be a tough one for book sales.” So says Publishers Weekly‘s Jim Milliott.
Milliott explains: “Unit sales of print books once again fell last week, dropping 7.6% compared to the week ended August 13, 2022 at outlets that report to Circana BookScan. And once again, the once sturdy adult fiction segment had a down week compared to a year ago. And also once again, the reason for the decline in adult fiction is not hard to find—the lack of titles that can match the sales velocity that books by Colleen Hoover and other BookTok-fueled authors achieved last year.”
As always, Jim Milliott has details of the titles that are topping the charts, with sales numbers, but what’s not explored in Jim’s piece, once we set aside the three “once again” reminders that this is not some statistical anomaly, are the implications of his last line as quoted:
“The reason for the decline in adult fiction is not hard to find—the lack of titles that can match the sales velocity that books by Colleen Hoover and other BookTok-fueled authors achieved last year.”
Leaving the big question, what has happened to the BookTok magic wand? And are publishers – and the wider industry – prepared for BookTok’s self-evidently waning influence?
BookTok of course rode the Pandemic bonanza of unexpected extra reading time, and publishers reaped the rewards, but with the Pandemic (for now) in the rear-view mirror, not only is reading time reduced, but screen time to spend on BookTok is reduced, meaning those undeniably fantastical figures the industry experts love to throw about, that show how BookTok can save the industry amid the economic downturn, are little more than history. If it was ever for real.
Link to the rest at The New Publishing Standard