An Electric Eclectic insight of the Pandemic’s effects on book sales.

Despite shops being closed for much of 2020, figures show Britons bought books in volume – although many authors continued to struggle.

UK

More than 200m print books were sold in the UK last year, the first time since 2012 that number has been exceeded, according to an estimate from official book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan.

Although physical ‘bricks & mortar’ bookshops in England were closed from 23 March until 15 June, and then again from 5 November until 2 December, with differing lockdowns in place around the rest of the UK – Nielsen has estimated that the volume of print books sold grew by 5.2% compared with 2019. This equates to 202m books being sold in the UK last year and was worth £1.76bn, up 5.5% on 2019, said Nielsen.

The Bookseller magazine (https://www.thebookseller.com/news/bookscan-estimates-2020-full-year-print-market-55-value-1234212 ) said the figure represented the biggest volume rise in the books market since 2007 and the highest annual value since 2009.

Waterstones, Kate Skipper called the figures encouraging. “So many people have turned to books for sustenance, information and joy through this difficult year.”

USA

Physical retail and online retail have taken dramatically different paths during the pandemic. Well-established chains like Brooks Brothers, GNC, J. Crew, and Neiman Marcus have all made Chapter 11 filings, while Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and Target reported record sales.

While book publishing, generally, has performed strongly thus far during the pandemic, bookstores have not.

Despite much positive news around publisher net sales, the U.S. Census data show that bookstore sales declined 28.8% in October 2020 vs. 2019 and 31% YTD.

Through the summer of 2020, Barnes & Noble, like most independent booksellers, balanced opening restrictions against offering online order pickup and greatly expanded online sales. By late fall, cafe and magazine newsstand sales were still down significantly, but book sales were running ahead of a year ago, aided by a doubling in online sales.

COVID-19′s impact on publishing sales and the supply chain has been less than many feared it would be. Whatever doom and gloom surround the publishing industry during the COVID crisis, sales cannot be singled out for scorn. Trade sales in 2020 were almost uniformly ahead of 2019, and in several categories, unit sales were up over 20% through mid-December.

EBOOKS

The ebook format has been to some extent reborn during the pandemic, recovering from shrinking percentages of overall sales, and publisher disdain for the format.

AUDIOBOOKS

After years of spectacular sales growth, audiobook sales growth slowed significantly in 2019: 16.4% versus 34.7% in 2018, based on data from the Audio Publishers Association (APA). NPD Group reported that unit digital audiobook sales were up 15% through May 2020. The AAP calculated that downloaded audio sales were up 17.3% to the end of October.

In the library market, Overdrive, which had been seeing year-over-year growth in audiobooks, saw depressed audiobook adoption in the pandemic. A possible reason cited by the company: commuters who had been listening to books in the car (or on mass transit) were no longer going into the office.

ELECTRIC ECLECTIC asks…

Overall, the numbers are positive for audio; only the pace of growth is slowing.

Podcast consumption offers an interesting perspective on this data.

Spotify reported in July that in its second-quarter 21% of users were listening to podcasts, up from 19% in Q1. Overall consumption of podcasts more than doubled.

Podtrac recorded 47% download growth for the 52 weeks ending November 01, 2020.

Are these listeners being lured away from audiobooks? Or are podcasts just part of an overall burgeoning audio trend?

PUBLISHING

The pandemic has had an enormous impact on how publishing companies are staffed and how staff execute their work. And, by all accounts, that impact may mark a permanent shift in publishing workflows.

In early August, Penguin Random House confirmed it will not return to its offices “until sometime in 2021… or until it’s safe and it’s practical, whenever that may be.”

Also in August, Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch sent out a note that “we will not be requiring anyone whose work can be done remotely to return to any of our offices for the foreseeable future.”

GENERAL

Overall retail sales changed only slightly in 2020, but there were huge swings month-to-month. April sales were down 14.7% from March but were followed by an 18.3% jump in May. November retail sales dropped 1.1% from October but were up 4.1% from November 2019.

Book retail is a set of businesses. First, it’s both physical and digital. More than half of all book retail takes place online (with Amazon accounting for at least half of those sales). Physical retail, on its own, has several components, broadly speaking: chain bookstores, independent bookstores, big-box retailers like Costco, and “newsstands” at drug and grocery stores, airport stores, etc.

Then there is digital, capturing more than 10% of most book publisher sales, and the vast majority of self-publishing sales. Amazon controls at least three-quarters of that market.

TO CONCLUDE

The changes in the retail landscape speak volumes. (Pun intended).

On the one hand, from now on publishers must treat bookselling as online- and digital-first, physical-second, with no further questions asked.

Pre-COVID it was still valid for publishers to ponder “where does Amazon fit within our reseller channel strategy?”

The question henceforth is “how do our reselling channels align with an online-first strategy (particularly for Amazon)?”

And the mouse in the corner might be heard to squeak “and what should we do about the bookstores?”

Although the sudden pandemic-driven shifts may slow or revert toward the mean with the achievement of a “new normal,” we believe that important underlying changes will persist and continue to evolve.

Keep Happy, Paul

National Whiskey Sour Day

Each year on August 25t, people across the United States observe National Whiskey Sour Day.

Traditionally garnished with half an orange and a maraschino cherry, a whiskey sour is a mixed drink containing whiskey (often bourbon), lemon juice and sugar. Whiskey sours are shaken then either served straight or over ice.

An alternative to the traditional whiskey sour is the Boston sour which is made by adding a dash of egg white to the recipe. Another variation is the Ward 8. This beverage has a base of either Bourbon or rye whiskey with both lemon and orange juices and grenadine syrup added for sweetness.

The first mention of a whiskey sour was in an 1870 Wisconsin newspaper.

  • After opening, a bottle of whiskey will remain good for five years.
  • An unopened bottle of whiskey can be kept for over 100 years and will still be fit to drink.
  • Both “Whisky” and “Whiskey” spellings are correct. Whisky is specific to Scotch Whisky, and Whiskey is Irish.
  • Whiskey is the official state beverage of Alabama.
  • Legend has it that Jack Daniels ran away at the age of 6 and learned to make whiskey from a Lutheran minister.

For more information and how to observe the day, click here.

Our author C. A. Keith is a whiskey connoisseur, and one day wrote a short story all about it. This appeared in our anthology. Mayfly. This is free to download from all retailers, except Amazon. Click on the book cover for the link.

Meanwhile, you can read C.A. Keith’s story here.

Ghosts in Crime

By Karen J. Mossman

I’ve never believed in ghost or of psychic ability but as I’ve got older I’ve opened my mind a little. I now believe that for other people, it’s different. I believe, they believe, and perhaps something has happened to them to make it that way.

As a writer, it’s a pot of gold. I love anything like that, but only if I can control it. I can’t control films or other people’s stories because my imagination is far too active after the event. Whereas if I write it, it is active before. Does that make sense?

So, what am I leading up to? Halloween. It’s lasts one day and I have a free book that you can read in one sitting. Then, if you like the character, you may wish to read more about her.

Cassidy Newbold is a clairvoyant and also an Official PrisonVisitor. This enables her to help her brother, a detective to crack his cases.

Shaking the hand of prisoner Ronnie Gunner, suspected of abducting two girls, Cassie sees everything. This horrific case would shake her to the core. With the lives of two young girls at stake, she must force herself to enter the farmhouse where Gunner kept them captive.

Can she locate them before it is too late?

Get ‘Chrome’ for FREE

This is the sixth chilling novel in the Pseudoverse

Detective Lori Lynn Gutierrez, and former journalist Amanda Sese, both poisoned in Onyx and “recruited” by the NIB, have their work cut out for them as they are pulled into the biggest gun battle the nation has ever witnessed.

An America divided is on the verge of a New Civil War over weapons that never need reloading while pushing the 2nd Amendment to its limit.

Filled with brand new characters, a “Shadow Government” attempting to take control of your life, and a hypersexual ex-military Major turned mercenary at the helm, Chrome is a non-stop action-packed conspiracy you will never forget.

This novel is rated ‘MA.’ It contains sex, drugs, mind-control, Taco Bell, crooked politicians, a Charger that can climb walls, a Viper with its own arsenal, great music, and a proud police detective whose partner who went from reporter to super sniper.

This novel also contains words you never want to hear come out of your mother’s mouth and images your brain will never forget.

“All characters are real people. Just like the music is real, so is every person who is a main or secondary character (antagonist or protagonist).

Read the thank you at the end to find out who everyone might be.

I find this unique quality to be the biggest winner of the novels. Blade also has the real people, or someone close to them should they already be resting in peace, write the foreword.


I am one to read forewords, but being a teacher for 20 years, I know what a drag they can be for the non-reader or the Escapist reader: Let me get to the good stuff… Well, these forewords are not to be skipped. Chrome and Onyx will tear your heart out, flip it around, and shove it back in upside-down. They are a must read from a character in the novel. Blade works hard (pesters…) to know his characters to portray them as accurately as possible. He does a bang-up job.

The classy touch of the Chrome Foreword just says it all for CG Blade.”

Kate D. Amazon Review



Chrome is homage to Law Enforcement across the nation, our brave and wonderful men, and women that put their life on the line for us every day.

Viewer’reader discretion advised. Check out the sneak peek of our next novel “Indigo,” at the end of this mind ripper.

“We are with you everywhere.”

“The Pseudoverse Series has everything you love reading in one gorgeous set of fantastic novels.

These stories are the most gripping, twisting, turning, and well-written series of futuristic historical fiction novels you will ever lay your hands on.

You will be asking yourself, “why didn’t I come across these sooner?”

The cliffhangers, from novel to novel, suck you in like no other series you have read.

Kudos to CG and his extensive research into all things scary including “politics by mind-control.””

Karen S. – Amazon Review

Chrome, Amazon UK https://amzn.to/32AsV4a

Chrome, Amazon USA https://www.amazon.com/Chrome-Sixth-Novel-Pseudoverse-Book-ebook/dp/B07D9KMGSL

Chrome, Australia https://www.amazon.com.au/Chrome-Sixth-Novel-Pseudoverse-Book-ebook/dp/B07D9KMGSL

Pseudosynthpress Website, https://www.pseudosynthpress.com/


Sinner Sid by Jack Kregas

 

Electric Eclectic’s latest book is now live!

 

The great thing about these books is that they are quick reads aimed at introducing you to new authors.

Jack  Kregas has two other books under our brand and they are short, brilliant reads too. All information is at the bottom, plus a very special offer by the author to you.


Screen Shot 2020-07-02 at 12.05.29Sydney Moffit was despised in some circles. He was viewed as the devil on earth.

Sydney Moffit was a man loved by tens of thousands. He preached and said what everyone was thinking but too afraid to say.

Sinner Sid was an evangelist. His job title was Sin Consultant.

The rest is history.

 

 

Amazon UK
Amazon US


Jack Kregas has been a busy man for on the 2nd July is exciting new novel Club Cargo has been released. Follow this link for all the details.

CC cover


 

Also by Jack Kregras under Electric Eclectic books

Jack on Amazon
A review from Magic Reviews


A very special offer for followers of this blog, and reading all right to the bottom!

The author has got copies to giveaway, yes, that’s right. If you would like to receive a copy of Sinner Sid, contact us here and ask for a copy to be emailed to you. Please don’t forget to leave a review.

Yes! Email me a copy!

The Fun of Fairy Tales

by Karen J Mossman

Did you know that we at Electric Eclectic also have a Facebook group? No? If you like stories, good quality articles, memes, humour and sharing, then you should come over and take a look.

You will be welcome to post and share something interesting, as we love interesting things! We try to make our group a little different to the norm. We love stories and life is full of stories. How are you coping with isolation, for instance? What is your passion or your hobby? These are the things we would like to know. Share your experiences, and read what others think, do, and enjoy.

When I was a child, I was brought up on fairy tales and nursery rhymes and it was where my love of stories first came from. I’m a multi genre author and tried my hand at fairy tale, something that creates the magic I remembered; think vivid colours, castles and princes and princesses – and wicked stepmothers!

On Saturday 25th April, and for the first tim, we are going to hold a book launch in our group. Themed around fairy tales, you can immerse yourself on the stories you grew up with. Throughout the day there will be fun posts, images, a quiz, and giveaways. Get your thinking caps on, gather a few thoughts and images, and come and join us by posting about your favourite stories.

This is the link, come and join us now and when it starts the posts will automatically appear in your newsfeed – just like magic!

Enter Here

 

Screen Shot 2020-04-22 at 15.23.22

The ELECTRIC ECLECTIC NOVELLA FICTION PRIZE 2020… is now open

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Are you an aspiring writer or an indie author looking for a publishing contract? If so, the Electric Eclectic Novella Fiction Prize 2020 is ‘right up your street’.

Simply write a 20K to 30K word story, in any genre and about anything you want, and enter the Novella Fiction Prize.

Entry is just £10.00 GBP, (via official entry form) and the winning authors will have their manuscripts published as Novellas.

The top prize is a full paperback publishing package.  Second and third places having their work published as eBooks.

Also associated prizes; professional cover designs, marketing packages and author assist support, media interviews and more.

The Electric Eclectic Novella Fiction Prize 2020 is an international literary competition for emerging writers and indie authors.

Submissions are encouraged from all literary fictional genres with no restrictions on theme or subject.

The emphasis of the judging will be on ambitious, imaginative and innovative approaches which explore and expand creative writing.

See; ‘How to enter the NOVELLA FICTION PRIZE’

 

One Winter Morning.

Flash fiction from Electric Eclectic author, C.A. Keith

chocolate-donut-above-round-paper-plate-and-plastic-spoon-913816

The doughnuts sizzled as Kate lowered them into the fryer. This was her favourite time of the day. The quiet time before the door sprung open and those two angelic faces stared in at her.

She’d arose long before the sun peeked its head over the horizon. Cheery happy kids would bolt downstairs as soon as they smelled frying and heard the sizzling and crackling sound as Kate place the gooey dough balls into the fryer.

Today she would attempt Boston Cream with a chocolate topping. She spoilt her kids. They got tasty fresh doughnuts in their lunchboxes and another for breakfast before they made their way to school.

It wasn’t the healthiest of meals but money was tight and doughnuts were very filling. Kate also packed their lunch boxes with fresh veg and fruits to offset the sugary fattening dessert. A sort of culinary Ying and Yang. It might not work, but it made her feel a better parent.

The girls’ daddy left home a couple of years ago. It seemed he found more thrills with his young secretary than he did with his family. They flew away to get married on some sandy beach in the south. Now, with his two new kids, he didn’t attempt to see the angelic faces he left behind.

Kate picked up the thick syringe and squeezed the cream into the cooled doughnuts. Then she piped thick gobs of chocolate across the top of each one.

Two sweet faces stood at the counter. She hadn’t noticed them coming into the kitchen, their chins resting on the hard countertop, eyes wide, and smiling from ear to ear.

“Love you Mama,”  the youngest piped up.

Kate went to them and drew them close. She breathed in the love she held for her darling girls.

“Love you forever and ever sweet peas, never forget that.”

The door burst open and smashed against the counter.

Bang, bang, bang.

They never had a chance to run or hide. Their dead bodies simply slumped to the floor like a pack of rag dolls.

It was done. 

The masked man scurried back through the doorway, disappearing into the dullness of the early winter’s morning.


Find C A Keith’s books on Amazon, HERE