Stephanie Davies

Looking back at 2023 in Australia and New Zealand

The print book market in Australia decreased in value and volume against 2022 in low single digits (-2% for both), however it’s important to note that 2022 was the highest value and volume year in BookScan Australia’s 20 years of data. If we compare 2023 to just one year earlier, it’s above 2021 by +5% in volume and +6% in value. Zooming back further to a pre-pandemic 2019, 2023 is +16% ahead in value and +15% in volume. When we compare this to our neighbours in New Zealand, they experienced a slightly bigger drop in their volume (-7%) and value (-5%) bringing their market back to levels seen pre-pandemic 2019.

A tale of three formats

In the first seven months of 2022, the sector that experienced the biggest percent decrease in the UK book market was non-fiction e-books. On the other hand, where can we find the biggest percent increase? Non-fiction audiobooks. Thanks to that combination of decline and growth, the digital sides of non-fiction are on their way to meeting in the middle: the gap between the two fell below 1.5m purchases, compared to more than 3.5m at the same point in 2021.

Trick or treat or books

The pre-school bestsellers for recent weeks show a clash of the festive seasons, much like any retail outlet at this time of year, with Halloween books rising to the top of the chart but Christmas books nipping at their heels.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Book prizes have been receiving lots of scrutiny recently, with high profile prizes such as the Costa Book Awards losing sponsorship and having to cease or postpone their activities. However, data from Nielsen BookData’s BookScan sales measurement and Books & Consumers survey show that prizes remain as important as ever in terms of driving sales, and helping consumers find and choose books.

Soaring Temperatures & Soaring Sales: paperback fiction & summer reading

Paperback novels are currently enjoying their summertime sales boost, fuelled by readers shopping for their latest beach read. More than 160 paperback novels sold more than 1,000 copies in the UK in the week ending 30th July 2022, and 17 of those occupy spots in the overall top 20. Outside of Christmas, the biggest weeks in volume terms for paperback fiction tend to occur around […]

It Ends with Atomic Habits of Evelyn Hugo: international book markets in 2022

In the first half of 2022, BookScan has tracked over 270m in print book sales through ten countries, led by the UK with 91m books sold and ranging all the way down to just under 3m in New Zealand. For all countries combined, the broad sector split comes to a satisfyingly orderly 99m, 88m and 77m respectively for non-fiction, children’s & educational and fiction, although non-fiction isn’t the biggest segment for every country.

Happy Independent Bookshop Week!

My favourite way to celebrate Independent Bookshop Week, aside from buying lots of books, is of course looking at lots of data. Let’s see what BookScan and Books & Consumers can tell us about indie bookshops and their vital role on the UK high street.

The bookselling power of TikTok

The world of BookTok continues to be a driving force in 2022, with books that proclaim ‘TikTok made me buy it!’ or use TikTok/BookTok in the keywords collectively selling 2.2m copies in the first four months of 2022 in the UK, as measured through BookScan.

Books abroad: The international reach of bestsellers

One fascinating thing that I do with BookScan data every year is to put together the international bestsellers, across all print editions and translations in the markets that we cover (UK, Ireland, Italy, Spain, India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Mexico). The result is often surprising […]

Prime time for audiobooks

From July 2020 to June 2021, audiobook purchases in the UK saw their highest 12-month period on record, surpassing the previous record highs that the format had been setting basically every month since last spring.

A bestseller tour around the UK

Both ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ by Richard Osman and ‘Megamonster’ by David Walliams sold over 200k copies in the UK from June to August, with Osman about 26k copies ahead of Walliams. But on a regional level […]

Launching a fiction bestseller

According to results from our Books & Consumers survey, familiarity with an author or series led to one in five book purchases in the UK in 2020, rising to one in three fiction purchases. But the last few years have seen breakout fiction hits from […]