The total digital print book volume will reach 100 billion pages in 2022 – read about the exciting new chapter ahead.
thebookseller.com has estimated that the total market value for European book publishing is an incredible €36-38 billion. Fluctuations in the British pound might have affected total sales revenues for publishers recently, but last year in the UK alone, printed books earned £1.7 billion of the £2 billion book sales.
With the upsurge in printed book sales comes a plateau in the popularity of e-books – now well past their initial new-toy phase. According to market intelligence agency Mintel, 54% of books purchased in the last 12 months were printed, while only 24% were digital. Mintel expects print sales to continue on the up, predicting a whopping 25% increase by 2022, which would see sales rocket to £2.1 billion. In stark contrast, e-book sales are only set to see “marginal” year-on-year increases as the fad begins to fade.
So why are print books coming back so strongly? Jen Campbell (@jenvcampbell) – a bookstagrammer/booktuber, award-winning poet and best-selling author – explains why she’s passionate about print:
“E-books are great for travelling, saving on space, and they offer fantastic text-enlarging features for those who need them. However, in a world where so much of what we do is online, books offer an escape from that, and their printed form is a tangible representation of that.”
Jen Campbell poet, author and booktuber
People love to predict ‘the death of the book,’ but that’s not happening any time soon.
Booktubers and bookstagrammers use social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram to share the books they love. This type of lifestyle content is massively popular with today’s digital audience – most big vloggers have managed to achieve celebrity status – and can have an incredible impact on the industries they support. “Viewers watch booktube channels for recommendations and come to know whose tastes they share. I link to my recommended books in the description box of my videos, if anyone wants to buy them. Through these links, viewers buy around 600-800 physical books a month. This is a small representation of the number of books bought from the recommendations I give, as many people go into bookshops or search for the books themselves,” says Jen Campbell.
Part of booktubing/bookstagramming’s success is the way it balances honest book reviews and brilliant imagery. In a digital world where online aesthetic is everything, looking good is half the battle. The artistry and skill that goes into book printing means traditional print can be visually stunning on digital platforms.
The trending “#shelfie” hashtag is proof of this: the trend of sharing photos of bookshelves packed with books is a staple among bookstagrammers, and adds huge physical and emotional value to printed books. Unlike digital, they are a physical thing to own and show off.
So, what does a booktuber/bookstagrammer think the future of printing looks like when it comes to publishing?
“People love to predict the ‘death of the book’,” says Jen, “but that’s not happening any time soon.”