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.

Notably, the children’s market outpaces non-fiction in Australia, with the sector so strong that more children’s books have been bought in Australia this year than in Italy, despite the latter being a larger book market overall, by more than 20m books. Similarly, non-fiction sales in India for the first half of 2022 are ahead of those in Australia, even though for the total market we’ve tracked nearly 14m more books in Australia than in India.

That non-fiction dominance in India is reflected in the bestsellers, with the top five books all coming from the sector, and all from categories having to do with personal development. It’s the only country not to have any fiction books within the bestsellers for the first half of the year, while on the other end of the spectrum, both Italy and Ireland have full fiction top fives, although no title overlaps across the two country’s bestsellers.

It’s in fact Ireland and Australia that have the most books in common, with three titles appearing in both: ‘It Ends With Us’ by Colleen Hoover, ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid and ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens. ‘It Ends With Us’ makes the most lists, at six, with ‘Verity’ also in the Australia top five, contributing to Colleen Hoover becoming the bestselling author through BookScan territories for the first half of the year, with nearly 2m books sold.

Next down we have ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear in three of the top fives – Australia, South Africa and India – giving Australia and South Africa two bestsellers in common. Ireland and New Zealand also share two books, ‘It Ends With Us’ as well as the number one in either country, ‘Again Rachel’ by Marian Keyes, while Italy and Spain both feature ‘Violeta’ by Isabel Allende. Mexico is the only country with a top five that doesn’t cross over with any others, although bestsellers there include ‘The Midnight Library’ by Matt Haig, which was a favourite in the UK in 2021, as well as ‘Heartstopper’ by Alice Oseman. Her graphic novels may not appear among other country’s bestsellers, but the author has definitely seen Netflix-boosted international success, with cumulative sales of 1.3m making her the fourth-highest author across the ten markets combined.

For individual country sales, Alice Oseman moves up to first in Mexico, with Colleen Hoover at the top of the list in Brazil (as well as second in the UK, Australia and South Africa). Julia Donaldson, who sits at second internationally, maintains her spot as the top name in the UK, while Dav Pilkey leads in Ireland (eighth internationally) and Jeff Kinney in South Africa (fifth internationally). The only author within the cumulative top five not to appear first for any individual country is J.K. Rowling, who ranks third internationally.

The remaining countries diverge more, featuring authors outside the international top ten. Lucinda Riley tops the authors in New Zealand, where her latest book appears at third for the first half of the year, while Anh Do ranks first in Australia, which accounts for 92% of his sales for 2022 so far. Taking that a step further, just shy of 100% of Sudha Murty’s sales come from India, where she’s the bestselling author for the year. Spain and Italy’s top authors aren’t as concentrated but still reach significant majorities, with Alice Kellen seeing 80% of her book sales come from Spain, while 70% of Eiichiro Oda’s books have been bought in Italy in 2022.

Based on data collected from BookScan retailer panels in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Mexico, to 2 July 2022. For more information, please contact