Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, the publishing sector in New York may be one of the industries that are left with a huge impact.
And yet this recession will be a book publishing catalyst, a moment of strong demand from readers stuck at home. E-books and digital audiobooks sell better than usual, and a couple of others. And what would the final image look like for publishing at a period when consumers desperately need the industry? And just as significant, what’s on the other side of the pandemic would that feel like?
Bookstores outside shelter-in-place areas have tried their utmost to turn to electronic or mobile orders (though many often don’t give online orders). They usually have two choices for selling a book: they may take one out of their shelf and send it to the home of the customer; or if it is not in stock, they can get it delivered by one of the handfuls of national book delivery firms who have been considered necessary and stay open but are similarly susceptible to disease or further lockdowns.
The sector, as any others, catches its breath and counts its small blessings. Booksellers that have progressed in holding it running by moving to electronic ordering and distribution have seen a modest rise in revenue. Still, the majority say that the amount is not similar to that of a typical day. There’s still general cynicism regarding consumers holding things up — worrying that this is all a fleeting mutual goodwill display.
But with closed shops and thousands of booksellers unemployed, who will step up to meet rising demand? Digital publishers announce an increase in print-book demand. A 250 percent rise in traffic clocked the ABA’s online bookselling sites; Bookshop.org, which only opened in February, and Indian and Media partners, announced a 400 percent spike in revenue, bringing $100,000 back into bank accounts for bookstores.
In publishing, the main problem is that now is the time people turn to e-books. To the point that was expected when Jeff Bezos first launched the Kindle in 2007, book lovers have never yet accepted them. Sales were in a gradual, steady fall, owing in part to the increasing growing rise of digital audiobooks.
E-books have been selling at “about the level we would see during the holidays,” since the start of the pandemic, Michael Tamblyn, CEO of e-book and audiobook retailer Rakuten Kobo, told Publishers Weekly.
Libro.fm, which sells free audiobooks via independent bookstores, has recorded “breaking revenues” since the crisis started. When these smaller stores experience quite a huge increase, so large distribution outlets, including, are likely to be as well. Libraries around New York are closed, and are moving attention away from print reading, and pouring funds into e-books.
As of now, there is only one sure thing: Writers now have much more time to write. Literary agents may find themselves inundated with new manuscripts at the end of the crisis. The problem is that by then, there may not be enough agents left in the business — or booksellers or publishers — to absorb all of the submissions.
But since the smaller businesses in the publishing industry are moving forward, so does independent publishing companies in New York. Self-publishing also sees a rather promising future as it allows authors to invest money in printing their books with the revenues all for themselves.
If you’re looking for a self-publishing company in New York, we’re here to help you cope with the pandemic. Let’s make your writing dreams turn into reality and allow readers to read when they’re staying at home.
Feel free to contact us through our website and let’s talk about your publishing.