Thursday, January 14, 2016

Print Books Are Selling Like Hot Cakes!

The data is in.  Printed books are up for a second consecutive year in terms of unit sales, revenue, and as a percentage of the overall book market.

652 million print units were sold in 2015 – up from 635 million in 2014, which was up from 620 million in 2013.  Adult nonfiction print remains the largest print category.  It saw a 6.6% gain from a year ago. Print unit sales, overall rose 2.8% from a year ago.  They were up 2.4% in 2014 over 2013.

More interesting was the fact that adult fiction print rose, by 2.1%, for the first time since 2010, when e-books became a significant part of the market.

Hardcover units rose, from 173.483 million to 178.255 million this past year.  Trade paperbacks jumped from 338.94 million units in 2014 to 355.737 million this past year.  However, mass market paperbacks continued to slump.  After declining around 10% in 2014, it dropped another 10% in 2015.  Just 64.318 mass market paperbacks were sold these past 12 months.

According to Neilsen Book Scan, which claims to account for up to 80% of all print book sales, these were the top print sellers in 2015:

1.      Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (1.599 million units)
2.      Old School (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) by Jeff Kinney (1.483 million)
3.      50 Shades of Grey, 4th by E.L. James (1.406 million)
4.      The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (1.345 million)
5.      The Life of Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (1.143 million)
6.      All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (1.013 million)
7.      Paper Town by John Green (919,478)

According to Association of American Publishers, trade ebooks sales declined by double digits.  Sales through August 2015 vs. August 2014 were down 11.1%, to $924.1 million, which accounted for 23.4% of all book revenue – down from a 26% market share a year ago.

According to Publishers Weekly, the book market in the third quarter of 2015 looked like this:

·         Trade Paperback Sales:  42% of the revenue
·         Trade Hardcover: 28%
·         Ebooks: 18%
·         Audio books: 3%
·         Other formats: 9%

Books and Consumers data says Amazon has a 65% share of ebook sales.  Apple and Barnes & Noble lag by a lot, but account for most of the remainder.

2016 Book Marketing & Book Publicity Toolkit

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 © 2016

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