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This is home to our regular blog, feel free to read and share our latest insights into the book industry which draw on our range of data sources including BookScan and the Books & Consumers Survey.
The UK audiobook market has continued to grow in 2023, with purchases up 6% in the first half of the year and spending up 12%; if that rate holds, then annual value could surpass £200m for the first time this year, according to our monthly Books & Consumers survey.
More than half a billion crime, thriller & adventure books were bought across formats in the ten years from 2013 to 2022 in the UK, equating to approximately 100 purchases a minute, with £2.5bn spent by consumers in those years, according to results from our Books & Consumers survey.
A lot of attention has been paid to TikTok and its effect on book sales in the past few years…But it’s important to remember that there’s more to the social media world than BookTok, and for many consumers, you’re more likely to reach them on platforms that have been around longer.
While it’s hard to imagine a time when the book industry didn’t have BookScan, it was actually 30 years ago, 1993, that BookScan development in the UK began. We’ve come a long way since then, expanding our coverage of the UK market and adding eleven more countries (and counting) to our roster…
In 2022, UK book consumers aged 14-25 bought an estimated 61m books and spent £496m, representing 18% of the overall book market, according to Nielsen BookData’s monthly Books & Consumers survey. While the total market declined 4% in 2022 vs 2021, purchases by 14-25s grew 1%.
The pattern of the UK print book market throughout the year can be fairly reliable: the peak occurs in the lead up to Christmas, with 8-9m books bought in the final shopping weeks, nearly three times more than lowest weeks of the year. Beyond the UK, it’s interesting to see how those patterns differ in the other countries covered by BookScan.
Happy Independent Bookshop Week! Indie bookshops are an important part of the UK high street and the book market, and here we’ll highlight the role they play in boosting books beyond the market bestsellers as well as showing some insight into the consumers who support these shops.
While we often see bestsellers reported for the UK as a whole, breaking the book market down by region shows how interests can vary around the country.
While our previous 2022 roundup posts have covered print books, first for the UK and Ireland and then looking further afield, here we have a summary of both print and digital formats in the UK, from our ongoing Books & Consumers monthly survey. In total, 348m books were bought for the year, adding up to £2.5bn, with both measures down around 4% compared to 2021.
Following on from our half-year international coverage last July, here we have a full 2022 round-up of the countries covered by Nielsen BookScan, looking at market performance and global bestsellers.
One of the strongest performing areas of the UK book market in recent years has been personal development. The sector has expanded at a rapid rate, with print sales crossing £50m in 2022 after setting new BookScan records every year since 2015.
After both the UK and Irish print book markets hit their highest value sales on record in 2021, Ireland managed to surpass that in 2022, with value sales growing another 2%, to €170m. This was largely driven by growth in fiction…Fiction similarly grew in the UK, but that didn’t make up for the drop in other sectors, with the total UK print market falling 1%, to £1.8bn.
Over the last five years, one in ten print books bought in the UK have been intended as Christmas gifts, according to Nielsen BookData’s Books & Consumers survey. Of course, several genres will exceed that stat – some books might as well be released with Christmas bow already attached, as associated with the season as they are.
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.
With children home from school and embarking on summer reading adventures, library borrowings for children’s fiction jumped up from July to September in the UK, according to public library lending data from Nielsen BookData’s LibScan.
Who doesn’t love a way to entertain yourself while commuting, doing housework or on a long car journey with kids? Audiobooks have been increasing in popularity, and Nielsen BookData has investigated the who, how and why of audiobook listeners in both the UK and Australia.
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.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
Kate Allinson and Kay Featherstone have joined the record books. Their latest Pinch of Nom cookbook, ‘Comfort Food’ […]
The Christmas shopping period is fully underway, home to the largest weeks of the year for print book sales…but just how many of the books bought at this time of year are intended as Christmas gifts and how many are from readers buying for themselves?
Question: how many writers within the list of the top 50 bestselling books of 2021 thus far also appear in the 2001 end-of-year top 50 chart?