How is the virus changing preferred book formats?


I’ve had the time to delve into my TBR since the world slowed down. Just started Eric Asher’s Vesik series. Been wanting to read these for a while, but with 14 books available and four more scheduled for release through July, it was a bit daunting. Days Gone Bad, the first book has been so much fun so far, so I’m glad I made the leap. Thinking this could be one of my new fave series. If you want to pick them up, look for the box sets so you can save a little $.

The interesting part is that I bought this first one as an audiobook. For me, audiobooks are entertainment for my commute, an alternative to the radio during the drive. So why am I buying an audiobook when my state’s stay-at-home order has me locked down?

It all boils down to basic mom math. When two teenage boys spend exponentially greater time in a space than they did before, that space is exponentially times messier, exponentially increasing cleaning time and decreasing reading time.

For me, an audiobook is the perfect solution; allowing me to keep up with housework while enjoying a good story hands free. This audiobook purchase was a core behavioral change. Though I listened to audiobooks regularly, for me, it was a big shift to start listening in places other than the car. And since I spend more time outside of the car than in, it would also make sense that I could potentially increase the volume of audiobooks I listen to in a year. And that epiphany led me to wonder … are preferred formats changing for other readers too?

eBooks are reportedly seeing holiday like sales. Audible is giving away free audiobooks for kids. And authors are trying to decide how to launch their new book without the traditional tour. The new normal is flipping publishing on its head.

WBUR Boston reports that libraries in their area have poured more money than ever before into ebooks after closing their doors because of the virus. In one day, Watertown Free Public Library spent $10,000 in ebooks and audiobooks. Another library recorded a 65% increase in requests for ebooks, according to the article.

According to, worldwide people are reading/listening to books 17% more in a study that looked at media consumption since the virus. That number is 11% more looking at just the US and 7% more in the UK. By the way, the top category in the study was news, closely followed by streaming TV, which should not surprise anyone.

And while ebooks and audiobooks are getting a boost, independent bookstores who have no distribution in place for these formats are struggling. Many have laid off employees and closed their doors, unsure if they will reopen. In “The World of books braces for a newly ominous future“, the New York Times takes a look at the indie sellers as well as struggling Barnes and Noble.

So is this the final breath for print? Not so fast. According to the article, “How the coronavirus will change book publishing, now and forever” published by the LA Times in March, the virus has led to a growing demand for print books from online retailers. Yes, print. The article cites that the American Booksellers Association’s members sites saw a 250% increase in traffic, while newcomer reported a 400% increase in sales.

Insiders are also curious to see how behemoth releases this year like Suzanne Collins’s The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and Stephenie Meyers’s Midnight Sun will affect book sales with their much anticipated followings. Their raving fans will likely want that print edition in their hands and on their shelves.

Based on the numbers, all book sales are on the increase as everyone searches for entertainment in the safety of their home. Print has shifted from in-store sales to online, but still seems to be decreasing slightly; while sales of ebooks and audiobooks soar. For now, there are few reports differentiating ebooks and audiobooks. It will be interesting to see how this changes as time passes.

Photo credit: Perfecto Capucine on Unsplash

How is the virus changing book sales?

If you had told me months ago that I wouldn’t be working on any banquets or major events in May, I would have laughed in your face.


It would have looked something like this.

I had a scholarship banquet and corporate annual meeting on my plate (those I do every year), a product launch, PLUS my son is graduating high school. I was on the fast train to a super stressful May. But now…

Continue reading “How is the virus changing book sales?”

Stuff I know this week: Loftis & Hunter’s pretty new covers, OUAB Awards finalists announced, and the return of Ember

Crazy week, right?

For those of us in Ohio, coronavirus concern exploded this week with the announcement that schools are dismissed for the next three weeks–four with spring break–and a ban on events of 100 persons or more. This news was followed by today’s restriction of restaurants to carry-out/delivery only and a warning that daycare facilities would be closed soon.

At this point, I welcome a little distraction from the world around me. So, here we go with the things I know…

The second book in the newest duology by the incomparable Casey Bond hit shelves on Friday. And before the end of the first day, The Omen of Stones, reached the #1 spot in Amazon YA Royalty Fairy Tales and Folklore category.

Quinn Loftis revealed a beautiful new cover for Luna of Mine. I have to admin, this one is my favorite of the Grey Wolves redesigns.

Chanda Hahn announced that Of Sea and Song, book 3 in her Daughters of Eville fairy tales series, will be releasing June 16. We talked about Book 1, Of Beast and Beauty on the Halloween episode of On the Same Page.

Yesterday, L.L. Hunter revealed the cover for Reign of Secrets, an epic YA fantasy romance which drops June 30.

On Wednesday, the fabulous Stacey Rourke announced finalists for this year’s Once Upon A Book Awards. It’s stiff competition for Author of the Year with Tish Thawer, Kelly Martin, Heather Hildenbrand, and Karen Lynch! More category finalists on the fan page.

What I’m fangirling over…

I’ve watched The Magicians on Syfy since the beginning, but it’s only been the last few seasons that I’ve become a real fan. Season Three’s key quest reeled me in, and I’m still hooked.

Currently in its Fifth and final season, writers have kept the surprises rolling, starting with a new foe gloriously played by Sean Maguire, who also portrayed Robin Hood on Once Upon A Time.

Season Five has already had such fun moments as a 300-year jump in Fillory, psycho Dean Fogg, Penny as dean, Eliot and Margot body switch, the crew MOVING the moon, Julia with an unexpected “development”, and Finn with knives. Oh, I so love Finn.

And this week, I was already geeking out over seeing Penny 40 again, but then the trailer for next week popped up with Ember! Ember!! I am freaking out, guys.

Last season’s goodbye episode is a permanent staple on my DVR, and I’ll be watching these last few episodes with wonder. If you watch too, send me your thoughts.

Until next time, Happy Reading and stay healthy!!