It might be a digital world, but it’s still a book world too

It’s a digital world, and as we consume our media digitally, it’s easy to throw books into the mix, making the assumption that digital must be eroding book sales as well.

After all, DVDs and CDs have just about dried up, newspapers and magazines are on their knees, and TV is losing ground to both Youtube and Netflix. However, of all the traditional media, books have bucked the trend.

Here are some stats from 2019:

  • Printed books are still going strong and continue to dominate the industry.
  • Non-fiction is hugely popular right now, especially in printed formats.
  • Fiction is more popular for digital downloads and e-readers.
  • Audiobooks, especially in digital format, are the fastest-growing product in the publishing industry.
  • Over 675 million books were printed last year

e-books have not had the impact on the market that many thought they would. The argument is that so many book readers spend their days in front of a computer, then glued to a smart phone, that a printed book becomes an escape.

Many see the shuttering of retail stores and make the assumption that books are dead, when the reality is that people buy their books online and let the courier deliver them to their door.

An article in CNBC reports that while millennials are sometimes blamed for killing industries, it’s actually younger people who appear to be popularizing print. Sixty-three percent of physical book sales in the U.K. are to people under the age of 44, while 52% of e-book sales are to those over 45, according to Nielsen.

It’s a similar picture in the U.S., where 75% of people aged 18 to 29 claimed to have read a physical book in 2017, higher than the average of 67%, according to Pew Research.

So if you’re thinking that the entire world has gone digital and that you may no longer to need to produce books as part of your mix, you are very wrong.