30 Years Helping Book Lovers Find Their Next Great Atlantic Read
I’m proud to write this message for Canada’s premier book consumer magazine’s 30th anniversary issue. For 30 years, ABT has been initiating conversations about local books, helping book lovers find their next great read. In 2022, the challenges remain the same, even as the means of conversation change.
Change. How about the past few years? Four years ago, about half of books were purchased online. That number jumped to nearly two-thirds during the pandemic and has since settled around 60 percent.
Digital discovery is increasingly important and helping booksellers reach a broader audience. And yet, selling books online is in its infancy—we are exploring new models for connecting local retailers to online local-book purchasers. New and improved models should help local retailers reach more people, more effectively. Like remote buyers without access to a bookstore.
We survey Atlantic Canadians regularly. Consistently, over 80 percent of respondents highly value local books, authors and publishers. Nearly two-thirds express the desire to purchase local books. Only 40 percent actually do.
Our challenge remains making consumers aware of the astounding variety of local books available—skim this issue for the latest proof—and help them find those books when it comes time to buy or borrow.
We’ve seen good progress. I’m pleased 51 percent of Atlantic book buyers recognize our Teal Lighthouse icon and #ReadAtlantic hashtag, up from 37 percent in 2020. We’ve also reached a younger demographic through social media. BOOKtalk on TikTok has almost 95 million views, with 40 percent of users between 18 and 24. Our TikTok video on Tunes & Wooden Spoons by Mary Janet MacDonald had over 50 thousand views.
I’m confident you’ll enjoy the beautiful 30th-anniversary issue of Atlantic Books Today—but in the spirit of the times, don’t forget to grab your phone and check out our bonus digital content at atlanticbooks.ca. And follow us on your favourite social media feed.