YouTubers Responsible for Higher Print Sales?

I think not.

So I’m sitting here reading my usual book articles, right? Well it seems the rise in print book sales is being partly attributed to YouTubers.

I can probably think of 5-10 YouTube stars who released books this year. They were all bestsellers. I think. But it’s not like these books are selling 5-10 million copies apiece. I’m quite certain they aren’t even selling one million copies. Their books are the kinds that rarely earn publishers back the advances given to the authors in the US. They more than earn it back from other markets.

Anyway, I don’t know why there has to be a very specific, concrete reason for the resurgence in print sales. I mean, did people think books were going to fall off the face of the earth? I’d attribute the rise in sales to adult coloring books and Harper Lee. I’m not saying they’re entirely responsible for the rise in sales over last year, but they played a nice part.

What do you think of the continued rise in sales of print books? (2014 also rose). And which books/authors do you think are responsible, if any?

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15 thoughts on “YouTubers Responsible for Higher Print Sales?

  1. I wonder if easier world wide shipping and free delivery plays a part? Also, I feel that books are becoming more affordable, so I feel that would also influence sales…

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    • Hm. More affordable? Maybe just more affordable than those outrageous Kindle prices publishers set on Kindle books. I looked recently at a 2015 bestseller. $15.10 for the hardcover on Amazon. $14.99 for the Kindle book. Like, what!? So that could definitely influence buyers. I know I’d never pay that for a file. Nope.

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  2. Reasons we buy print books instead of eBooks:
    1) Easier to share the book once read… I can hand it to a friend, my kid, my kid’s friend, a neighbor, a stranger… whoever wants to read it next.
    2) If I put eBooks on my kids’ devices, they play Angry Birds instead of reading. True story.
    3) eBooks aren’t allowed in elementary and junior high classes. See reason #2.
    4) Batteries are not required.
    5) I’m old.

    I tried eBooks. For me, they went the way of “great in theory, but the practice is lacking.” When I read, it’s to escape the constant screen-in-my-face life that I lead. Reading on yet another screen kind of defeats the purpose. I think there are others out there like me who just want to get away from the screen life, and print books are one wonderful way to accomplish the necessary unplugging.

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  3. I think your speculation about adult coloring books has some real merit, actually. That aside, I wonder if the overabundance of book adaptations in TV/film has caused people to read more frequently? And I feel like those sorts of casual readers would opt for print just because it’s what they’re most familiar with.

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    • Ooh. Good point. Although not all the books being adapted see a resurgence in sales leading up to the movie. You wouldn’t believe the number of all three The Hunger Games books I see at the store and they just don’t sell like other popular series. Even with the most recent movie release. I think anyone who only reads casually and doesn’t happen to already have a Kindle device would likely opt for print. Mostly because reading on a phone or computer isn’t all that great or easy.

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  4. I agree about the coloring books, though it’s odd that they would lump the sale of those types of books into the statistic recording print book sales. I realize these are print books in the sense that they are a stack of bound paper, but, to me, they aren’t actually books–not, at least, books you would read, which is what I think of when I consider book sales, best-sellers lists, etc. If the statistic considered only the type of print books that were meant to be read, would the sales still be higher than usual? I wonder.

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    • Well I can’t say I agree with you. I mean, they’re done by illustrators. So if they aren’t books, then what are they? There’s a specific section for them on the NYT best seller list. So obviously they also think they’re books. The difference between last year and this year is 12 million books. I don’t know how many adult coloring books were sold this year, but I doubt it was 12 million.

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      • You don’t have to agree. I acknowledge that they are books since they are bound pages, like I said. I’m not belittling the work of the illustrator. Just, when I think of the word “books” and also of ranking sales of books, my mind jumps to reading, not coloring. And no, I’m sure the 12 million wasn’t ALL coloring books, but they are EVERYWHERE. I’m bet it’s a portion.

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      • I know. They are. I’ve written about how they’re all over the place on here before. But man people want those things. I mean, they REALLY want them. I’m sure they’re responsible for a good amount of the 12 million. I actually hope they keep selling well into the future. Not because I have any interest on them, but because when people go into their local bookstore or log on to Amazon to buy one, maybe they’ll see another book they’d look like to read and buy it too.

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  5. I tend to agree with your hypotheses, especially considering adult coloring books. Those were huge this year. And there were a lot of political books that were released that garnered a lot of attention and sales. As well as posthumous biographies of celebrities. Do the YouTubers contribute to print book sales? Probably. Are they solely responsible for its increase this year? Doubtful.

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