How Our Reading Habits Have Changed During Quarantine

October 2, 2020

It’s undeniable: these unprecedented times call for a new style of reading. Some of us are dusting off our favorite classic novels, while others are blasting through new reads each week. Nevertheless, the new normal proves to include much more reading (e-book and hardback!)

April 19, 2020, CNBC news report, “there was a whopping 777% increase in book purchases” in the first half of April as compared to the first half of March. As quarantine continues, readers will continue to dive into books in record numbers, but there have also been important changes in reader preferences and habits accompanying this soar in purchases. These changes present opportunities for astute indie authors who know where to look. Let’s take a closer look at the three top trends that we’ve identified.

1. Children’s Books Are Topping the Charts

During this time in history, parents are navigating the challenges of work-from-home while simultaneously balancing the education of their children in the domain of online learning. This complex situation ultimately makes it difficult for parents. A variety of children’s books are keeping children busy with fun, educational activities…and parents are buying them in droves:

  • Educational books for children are working as a strong accompaniment for young children. They give a break to this new brave world of zoom calls and computer screens while continuing to encourage growth and learning.
  • As quarantine continues, children’s books will be the go-to resource for parents desiring the best for their children.

2. “Feel Good” Fiction & Price Promotions Are an Enticing Combination

There have been a number of articles published recently on the power of reading to calm “coronanxiety.” Reading is a powerful form of escapism and right now readers are searching for happy endings to counteract the unsettling headlines bombarding our new’s cycles

The ebook format, has always been price-sensitive and now is a great time to consider online price promotions and giveaways. Discounts and giveaways currently run against the grain of popular sales methods because of two concurrent trends. First, searches for free and bargain books are up due to economic uncertainty. Second, according to the same CNBC report mentioned above, “e-commerce spending in the U.S. is up more than 30% from the beginning of March through mid-April compared with the same period last year, according to market research firm Rakuten Intelligence.” Increasing ad spend to promote deals and giveaways can draw in consumers looking for a bargain.

3. Short Nonfiction Books Present a Powerful Opportunity for Author Brand Building

As we ring in the new year, readers will be looking for new material in their preferred genre of literature. This is a great opportunity for those looking to establish their brand by writing and sharing their experience and expertise in the field of their choice. Readers are looking for answers during this pandemic and establishing yourself as a thought leader and expert can help establish you as a leader in the field, paving the way into the future.


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