Friday, March 28, 2014

Fiction Bestsellers Trump Non-Fiction Bestsellers

Do people invest in buying books that help them- or just help them escape?

Certainly many people buy fiction and non-fiction books but a look at a recent list of PW Bestsellers (March 10-16), shows each of the top 12 hardcover fiction titles outsold each of the top hardcover non-fiction books.

In fact, the top three fiction hardcover books combined to outsell the nonfiction hardcover books, 55,000 to 34, 000. No contest.

Interestingly, people were willing to pay more for fiction than non-fiction, in some cases. The non-fiction top 25 hardcovers had one book below $24 (the bottom price on a fiction hardcover) - at $18 and another at a low price of $9.99. But the 10- dollar book could only place 21st in sales.

Only 22 hardcover books on the lists sold more than 5,000 in the week. This means all other hardcover books struggle to average just 100 copies sold per state (50 x 100).

Only 11 of the 50 hardcover best-sellers made the list in their first full week out. But that means once you make the list, you have a reasonable shot of staying on it.

If we look at the bestselling hardcover books for all of 2013, Inferno by Dan Brown (fiction), topped the lists with 1.7 million copies sold. Bill O’Reilly had the top non-fiction hardcover book- Killing Jesus- with 1.5 million copies. 18 hardcover books sold 500,000+ copies- split evenly amongst fiction and non-fiction.

Regardless of format, Americans are buying more units of books than ever before. This is something to celebrate- whether you like fiction or non-fiction, print or e-book.


Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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