Friday, January 1, 2016

The Death of Print Books Has Been Wildly Exaggerated

Print Is Back, and Everyone's Reading Science Fiction

Rumors of the death of the print book were massively exaggerated, it turns out. According to the L.A. Times, 571 million print books were sold in 2015, 17 million more than in 2014. And ebooks, which had been forecast to hit 50 to 60 percent of book sales, were stuck around 25 percent.

The L.A. Times’ Carolyn Kellogg looks at trends in book publishing this past year, one of the other big trends she pinpoints is a new boom in science fiction books. She points to Simon & Schuster’s launch of Saga, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt launching John Joseph Adams Books, and Orbitdoubling its book list next year. This is all based on the notion that, as Adams says, “we are in a new golden age of science fiction.”

These two trends hopefully add up to one thing: healthier specialty bookstores. We’ve lost a lot of science fiction and fantasy bookstores in the past decade or so, but the ones that remain seem to be hanging in there remarkably well. Let’s hope that continues to be the case in 2016!


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