Understand consumer trends with market research

We have comprehensive information on consumer book purchasing and behaviours as well as market trends.


With over 15 years’ experience in interrogating data, Nielsen Book Research can provide you with the actionable insight your business needs based on our in-house panel measurements across point-of-sale data and consumer surveys. As well as reporting on market trends, we have comprehensive information on consumer book purchasing and behaviours, answering questions such as:

  • Who is buying what books?
  • What is the digital share across genres?
  • What is the ideal price point by format and category?
  • How does shopper behaviour differ by channel?

Books & Consumers

Nielsen Books & Consumers currently provides data back to 2012 on the who, what, when, where, why and how of consumer book purchasing, based on a monthly survey of c3,000 UK book-buyers that are nationally representative of those aged 13-84.

By asking buyers for the specific books that they’ve bought and matching those titles against our bibliographic database, we can profile by genre, author and sometimes even title, allowing unique and focussed insight into who is buying bestsellers and key genres, and how that changes year on year, in order to help you identify the best methods to reach or expand your audience.

Data is available via ongoing subscriptions, which include regular quarterly and annual reports, as well as on an ad-hoc basis catered to your business needs and areas of interest.

Deep dives

Each year, Nielsen BookData Research carries out additional ‘deep dive’ syndicated studies on specific market segments, to complement our monthly survey and allow greater investigation into a given topic.

Previous studies have included:

  • Children’s (UK: annually from 2012 to 2023)
  • Audiobooks (UK: annually from 2016 to 2023, Australia: 2020, 2022 and 2024)
  • E-books (UK: 2014 and 2018)
  • Students’ Information Sources (UK: 2015 and 2019)
  • Travel Guides (UK: 2015)

Consultancy services

Bespoke research to suit your business needs
In addition to subscription services, syndicated studies and readily available data, Nielsen BookData Research is able to carry out bespoke research on behalf of your organisation, from initial brainstorming through to final analysis.

Past projects include:

  • Data collection and reporting for the UK Publisher’s Association’s annual book market statistics across trade, academic, journals, rights and higher education
  • Exit surveys for retailers to assist in improving customer experience and to inform new branch locations
  • The India Book Market Report, in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Publishers
  • Knowledge partner with Brand Licensing Europe to provide statistics on UK book brands
  • Examination of the translated fiction market in the UK for the Booker International Prize
  • The annual Independent Publishing Report, a survey of members of the IPG that gives an overview of the state of independent publishing in the UK
  • Consumer segmentation studies for publishers to allow for better understanding of, and communication with, their existing and potential readership
  • Support and research for international book prizes to provide insights into their impact on book sales and overall performance
  • Focussed cover testing prior to publication to help identify what resonates with consumers when choosing books
  • Collaboration with CILIP, the library and information association, to empower librarians with a data-driven training programme
  • Consumer surveys undertaken in India and the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic to examine the impact of the lockdowns on book reading and buying habits
  • Contribution of sales and consumer data to support Arts Council England’s Reading for Pleasure report

Get in touch

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