Dostoevsky, Orwell and King became the most widely circulated authors in the pandemic

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Stephen King has held the position of the highest-circulation author since the end of 2019. Then the American writer for the first time topped the top of the most published authors of fiction in Russia. Orwell’s books in the first nine months of 2021 unexpectedly came in 2nd place. Fedor Dostoevsky, Erich Maria Remarque and Daria Dontsova were also among the five most published authors in the country.

The rating of the most published authors of the RCP is formed according to about 4,500 publishing houses across the country, Galina Perova, head of the department of press statistics and international standard numbering of RCP publications, told Vedomosti.

According to Perova, Orwell’s most published work was the anti-utopia “1984” – its total circulation exceeded 269,000 copies, another 84,500 copies were published by “1984” along with another famous work of the British writer – “Cattle Yard”.

According to the RCP, the circulation of Orwell’s books has more than doubled since the beginning of the pandemic: from 201,000 copies in the first nine months of 2019 to 482,600 copies in January-September 2021. Thus, the writer is not in the top 10 most published authors , was in 2nd place, second only to King, whose total circulation of works increased slightly compared to 2019: from 778,000 to 781,000 copies.

The popularity of Orwell’s works has been growing for the last few years, says writer Dmitry Glukhovsky. He connects the growing interest of readers in his works with political events in the world.

The circulation of Dostoevsky’s and Remarque’s works also increased significantly. Circulations of the author’s books “Crime and Punishment” increased from 281,000 copies in 2019 to 394,000 copies in 2021. And the circulation of books by the German writer for the same period increased from 220,500 to 378,000 copies.

At the same time, the circulation of Dontsova’s books, which in 2019 took 2nd place in the RCP rankings, fell from 559,000 copies in 2019 to 315,000 in 2021.

“The hypertrophied high position of the classics in the RCP rating is partly due to the fact that it is still preferred to be read on paper,” said Leonid Shkurovich, CEO of Azbuka-Atticus. The RCP is based only on the performance of printed books, without measuring the performance of electronic. And the works of such authors as Dontsov or Alexander Marinin are more readily read today in electronic form. “It’s hundreds of thousands of readings and auditions. If they are counted correctly, Dostoevsky will not be greeted, “Shkurovich summed up.

The pandemic itself also affected readers’ preferences, the press service of another major publisher, Exmo-AST, added. “For several months, bookstores were closed, new products by modern authors did not come out, which led to the fact that even in early 2021, the advantage was on the side of the classics,” – said there.

At the same time, if you look at the statistics on the most popular art books of the group “Liters” (combines the eponymous e-book service, as well as platforms MyBook and LiveLib), which offers readers works in e-books and audiobooks, its top 10 most popular works do not match with data on printed books at the RCP.

The most popular e-books for Liters users in the first nine months of 2021 were Fredrik Buckman’s Anxious People, Mike Omer’s Inside the Killer, and Sergei Lukyanenko’s The Limit. The works of any authors from the RCP rating were not included in the Liters list of e-books. As for audiobooks, Dostoevsky’s Idiot and Orwell’s 1984 are in 5th and 6th place. Bakman’s “Anxious People”, as well as Akunin’s “Road to Kitezh” and “Just Mass” were among the three most popular audiobooks.

As previously reported by the largest Russian publishers, sales of printed books account for up to 45% of their revenue. And due to restrictions on coronavirus, which apply in most regions of the country, most publishers are preparing for losses of up to 100 million rubles. against the background of closed bookstores, said in late October, “Kommersant”. Russia’s largest book retailer, the combined Reading City and Bukvoed chains, told the newspaper plans to close about half of its stores nationwide due to restrictions on non-food retail. These losses, in turn, will lead to a slowdown in the growth of the entire book market. The head of Exmo-AST Oleg Novikov estimated a decrease in market growth of 2-3%.

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