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The publishing world as 2016 turns into 2017

2 January 2017

Amongst the predictions springing up as we move into the new year, a hard figure is the most astonishing. The slowing-down of ebook sales is well-documented but it is quite startling that the first figure of 2017 is that the UK print market sold 195 million books in 2016, an increase of almost 7% on 2015, and volume increased by 4.5%.

The fitness and cookery writer Joe Wicks, a phenomenon in himself, contributed to this with his three Lean in 15 ... books, but it's still a remarkable figure.

In a Publishers' Weekly article, US booksellers were forecasting a flat 2017 after a rather disappointing 2016, when book-buyers seem to have been distracted by the election.

A cheerful piece from Alex Clark in the Guardian described 2016 as A year of celebrating women writers.

Notable Literary Deaths in 2016 showed how very many great writers we lost last year.

Tom Chalmers offered a look back at his predictions for 2016, and how accurate they had been - My 2016 Predictions: The Verdict.

So, no shortage of reflections on 2016 or prognostications about the new year, but it may just be a year when, in western countries at least, political uncertainties continue to dominate the news. This means that readers and book-buyers can look forward to a relatively quiet year in the publishing world, but this will be enlivened by the usual range of wonderful new books and authors, as publishing houses put out substantial new lists and self-publishers continue to carve their niche.