Top 7 Predictions for Trends in
the Book Industry 2021

People's reading habits increased in the past year making, book reading one of the most popular quarantine activities.

One of the biggest winners in 2020 was our old friend: books. And the book trends are likely to continue through 2021.

People turned to books like never before. Books provided entertainment, information and inspiration. With the growing digital economy and home-based lifestyle, this book market trends are likely to continue for years to come.

Looking at the publishing stats of 2020, we can see how the book industry will continue to grow.

What does this mean for you and your book?

See my top 7 predictions for the publishing industry in 2021, and how you can ride these trends.

Reading book trends to grow.

1. Printed books sales continue to grow.

People are hungry for books! In the U.S., readers bought about 7% more books in 2020 than in 2019, according to

We’re talking printed books here. Book buying trends shows that people bought 6.2% more hardcovers and 8.3% more paperbacks in 2020 than in 2019, according to NPD BookScan.

Write your book—people want to read it!

eBook sales to explode.

2. eBook sales keep exploding.

Tablets and devices are fast-replacing printed books. In 2020, sales for eBooks (digital books) exploded 16% from the previous year, according to the Association of American Publishers. 

Another important stat: More than 1 out of 3 books sold in 2020 were eBooks. 

Turn your book into an eBook!

audiobook sales trends

3. Audiobooks light-up sales

Audiobooks are the comets of the publishing industry. Audio book sales trends in 2020 shows that people in the U.S. bought 17% more audiobooks compared to 2019, according to the Association of American Publishers. 

It’s not just lockdown. As smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home become more widespread, audiobooks are increasing in popularity. 

Create an audio version of your book!

4. Podcasts accelerate.

Podcasts are the new radio. And veteran radio stations, like iHeart, have been scrambling to acquire podcasts.

According to Infinite Dial 2020, more than half the U.S. population—55%—listened to a podcast in 2020, up from 51% the year before. Expect more ears on podcasts in 2021. 

Turn your book to a podcast! And turn your podcasts into a book!

5. Independent Publishing (Self-Publishing) takes the stage.

Just as Netflix is taking over Hollywood, so is Amazon taking over the publishing industry. Top authors, including Dean Koontz and Patricia Cornwell, left their traditional publishers to sign with Amazon’s new publishing company. Like Netflix sweeping the Oscars, Amazon is starting to bag literary awards. 

Mirroring Hollywood studios, traditional publishers face shrinking revenues. In 2020, Penguin Random House announced a deal to buy Simon & Schuster. The consolidation will likely send more professional editors and designers to independent publishing houses.

The publishing house that you set up (yes, we can help you do that) can garner more respect than ever before.

6. Amazon grows as King Kong.

Already a Gorilla, Amazon rules the book jungle. Last year, 67% of all books sold worldwide were through the online platform, according to Bookseller. Expect more growth in 2021. 

With the rising online economy, Amazon is likely to keep pounding its chest as the world’s largest bookstore.

You want your book on Amazon!

7. Independent booksellers rise-up.

Every Goliath has a David. As Amazon matures, so do its smallest competitors. One of the fastest-growing booksellers is, which supports local and independent bookstores. The online platform has gained a fierce following, especially with Millennials, who want an alternative to Amazon.

Buy books here to support the small guys!

You can write and publish your book in 2021. It’s easier now than ever.

Do you want to explore how? Let’s talk.

Harness these book industry trends to reach your goals with your book.

by Helen Chang, ABM Editorial Director

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