Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Why Print Book Sales Are Rising, and Books Are Getting Longer

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Why Print Book Sales Are Rising, and Books Are Getting Longer

Article excerpt

Sales of print books have increased slightly in the United States this year, possibly boosted by the release of Harper Lee's newest novel and a popularity surge in, of all things, adult coloring books.

As of December, sales of paper edition books rose to 571 million units, up from 2014 when 559 million copies were sold, according to Nielsen BookScan, which follows 85 percent of the print market.

The company told the Associated Press that adult coloring books and Lee's "Go Set a Watchman," led the trend.

Jonathan Burnham, publisher and senior vice president of HarperCollins Publishing, pinned the change on Lee's novel. The book was released in July. While updated sales statics have yet to be revealed it sold four times as many hard copies as e-books.

"Possible the historic nature of the publication made people want to own a physical copy," he told the AP.

2015 was the second consecutive year that print editions grew, following a dip in 2013, when about 500 million were sold in the United States.

Adult coloring books and books written by celebrities who made their names on YouTube have also contributed to sales, publishers told the AP.

PewDiePie, Tyler Oakley, and Shane Dawson have translated a large YouTube following into bestseller status, reports NPR.

"PewDiePie has in particular has over 40 million subscribers to his channel," she says. "That's more than most print magazines nowadays, most TV shows during prime time would have tuning in ... every video that he puts out immediately has about a million views."Author Jeff Kinney said he was not surprised that almost all of his popular illustrated children's books, "Diary of Wimpy Kid: Old School" were sold as hard copies.

"So much of the way kids experience the world these days is through a screen, but we instinctively know that the best way to get kids reading is by placing a book in their hands," he told the AP in an email. …

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