Spending more time at home than usual during the pandemic both prompted dedicated readers to read more and non-readers to start reading for fun as well as learning. Here are a few trends that readers can expect to impact book sales in 2022.
Changes in technology impact both the ways some books become popular and the ways people read.
Ebooks and Audiobooks
While books sales in all formats increased over 2020 and 2021, ebooks and audiobooks saw especially significant growth. Ebooks sales increased 16.5% and audiobook sales increased 14.3% over the past year. The popularity of both formats will likely continue to grow.
Many authors have seen substantial bumps in sales when their books have become popular with TikTok influencers. This trend has both helped new authors find an audience for their work and brought books that were published several years ago back into the spotlight.
For example, Adam Silvera’s “They Both Die at the End” ended up back on the New York Times’ young adult bestseller list four years after its publication thanks to its popularity on the platform. While it’s difficult to predict what books might become popular through influencer recommendations, social media generally and TikTok in particular are likely to continue to impact reading choices in 2022, especially for younger adults.
Social and Political Issues
The intense political news cycles along with the growing public discourse about discrimination and systemic racism have encouraged readers to choose books to help them understand these issues.
Social movements and public conversation in 2020 and 2021 brought growing awareness to systemic racism as well as the lack of diversity and representation in the media. This has had a substantial impact on reading choices, with nonfiction books written to educate about racism as well as novels and memoirs by a more diverse group of authors becoming extremely popular. Readers will likely continue to care more about the diversity of the authors whose works they read in 2022.
Political books have been extremely popular over the past few years, especially books written by and about presidents and former presidents. With midterm elections coming up in 2022 and the ongoing tense political environment, these books will likely continue to be popular as readers look to understand their government.
The pandemic and resulting sense of instability naturally impact the books readers are drawn to. This can go in two directions.
Some readers will be drawn to books that are lighter or that otherwise allow them to forget about problems in the world while reading. Romance is always a popular genre and will likely remain so, and fantasy books will likely remain popular for their escapist reading experience as well.
Dystopian and Science Fiction
Some readers will prefer works that engage directly with the issues they’re concerned about. These can include speculative science fiction novels and stories with dystopian elements. Both of these genres will likely continue to be popular in 2022.