Sunday, February 15, 2015

Biggest Print Gains Go To Juveniles

Print book sales jumped in 2014, but which genres did particularly well?  According to a report by Nielsen Bookscan, self-help books lead the nonfiction growth and graphic novels posted the biggest fiction print gains.

Fiction print has been hit harder by ebooks than nonfiction.  I would speculate a few reasons for that.

First, non-fiction books include coffee table books like photography, and those won’t morph to digital anytime soon.

Second, a lot of fiction is throw-away fiction.  You read it once and move on, but non-fiction books may be referenced often and over time.  People prefer to have it handy and in hand to look up what they need.

Third, some people favor print books because they collect them or want to display them.  Many will collect books on a particular subject matter.

Fourth, people will buy non-fiction spontaneously when they see it sitting on a shelf or check-out line.  They are drawn to the subject matter and buy it.  Fiction books don’t jump out the same way.

The biggest gains in print were in these genres:
·         Self-Help print increased by 15%
·         Biography/Memoir print grew by 12%
·         Religion/Bibles print grew by 12%
·         Performing Arts print grew by 5%

The big print drops in non-fiction were:
·         Humor –13%
·         Computer -12%

·         History/Law/Political Science -11%

Though Graphic Noels rose 13% and Westerns by 7%, all other adult fiction genres in print declined, including Occult/Psychological/Horror by 26%, Action/Adventure -15%, and Religious Fiction -15%.

Juvenile print was the big winner, rising 16% non-fiction and 12% in fiction.  The category of Games/Activities/Hobbies rose 33% and Science Fiction/Fantasy/Magic jumped 38%.

One thing these numbers fail to show is the number of books published in these categories.  For instance, are some gains and declines based on having more or fewer titles than a year ago – or are these categories just simply driven by a change in consumers’ needs and tastes.

In any event, it’s nice to see print books grow.


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. 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 © 2015

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