5 Causes for Publishing Celebration in 2020
Even though 2020 has been a tough year for almost everyone on Earth, there are still some good things to look back on within the world of book publishing.
Recognizing positives worth celebrating about the year isn’t meant to diminish the hardships we’ve all faced. Far from it. Instead, thinking about just how difficult it has been for us all makes it even more important to find the bring spots among the misery.
During a year where almost everything seemed to change, one thing remained constant – the importance of books to the lives of people around the world.
Here are five of the best things to celebrate about book publishing in 2020.
Books encouraged social justice and diversity
One of the key themes of 2020 was a greater awareness of issues relating to racial inequality and social justice. Although tragic events brought these to the forefront of our attention, many people have finally started to become aware of how unfair things can often be for people of color.
Books have played a large role in many people’s self-education. Many major news publications printed lists of recommended reading for people wishing to learn more about race and injustice. A lot of bookstores and libraries reported shortages of the most popular titles.
Of course, reading about racial injustice isn’t going to fix the problem on its own, but it at least represents a move in the right direction. If books are helping people to not only become aware of the racial injustice faced by millions but to take action to fight against it, that has to be something worth celebrating.
We can only hope that people continue to read such important works next year when another topic has taken up the media spotlight.
People bought more books
Book sales, on the whole, were very healthy in 2020, outperforming the predictions of many experts.
Part of the reason for this success is undoubtedly due to the Coronavirus pandemic. As the world’s population learned to live with either total lockdowns or severe restrictions on their freedom, they increasingly turned to books for entertainment and escape.
While a lot of people found the stress and worry caused by Covid made it difficult to focus on reading, even greater numbers found solace and comfort in the pages of a book. Fiction stories offered a way to experience a different world from our own. Nonfiction provided an invaluable way to self-improve for folks frustrated at the lack of control they now felt.
Hopefully, readers who rediscovered their love of books, as well as brand new bookworms, will continue the habit even after things have returned to normal.
More people thought about becoming authors
Just as time away from the normal style of living caused people to read more, it also gave more opportunity to indulge in writing.
Of course, being able to write during a pandemic is a privilege. Many people did not have the option of taking time away from work or switching to working from home.
But for the people that had the time and means, it’s interesting to see how many minds turned to penning a book. It just confirmed that becoming an author is a true bucket list item for many people.
Although most people who wanted to write a book during lockdown didn’t see it through to the end, that’s true for writers even during normal times. You can also make the case that even though some people had more free time, the immense psychological pressure of the pandemic subdued a lot of people’s creativity.
While a lot of people will never return to their lockdown daydream of writing, a significant number will. The seed of possibility has been planted. In the future, we’re likely to enjoy a lot of books that were first dreamed up during the Coronavirus crisis of 2020.
The world accepted new ways of working
Plenty of writers have been living the working from home lifestyle for a long time. For many, Zoom calls and a home desk were nothing new, and it was amusing to see the rest of the world adapt to the ups and downs of remote work.
But on a more serious note, the new way of working has become normalized and accepted in a way that it wasn’t before. This can only be a good thing for writers. People will view the lifestyles of self-published authors as something to be embraced rather than treated with suspicion.
A lot of people with conventional jobs won’t be expected to work in an office full-time even after the Pandemic is over. This flexibility will free up precious time. For many people, these extra hours can be invested in writing a book or pursuing other meaningful creative work.
The move towards remote work, coupled with the increased demand for books, could make the upcoming years the best time ever to take the plunge and become an author. It’s exciting to think about all the new books we might be able to enjoy as a result.
Audiobooks experienced strong success
Audiobooks performed very well during 2020.
There are a lot of reasons for this. More and more people around the world are getting faster internet speeds and devices that make enjoying an audiobook easier than ever before. It’s also possible that people wanted the deep immersion that only a book can offer during the pandemic, but with the comfort and convenience of being read to.
It’s always been a good idea for indie authors to offer their work in as many formats as possible, and that’s even more true now than it ever has been. Podcasts are also growing in popularity, suggesting people have a preference for listening to quality content.
Thankfully, with services like Amazon’s ACX, it’s easy to create an audio adaptation of a book and offer it for sale alongside other formats. Audible gives listeners a wide range of choices, making the rise of audiobooks a true win/win for independent authors and readers alike.
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