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The Nielsen BookScan service has been operating in South Africa since 2009* and provides a continuous market measurement of South African retail book sales sourced from electronic point of sales data.

The quantity and price of book sales by ISBN are collected from physical shops and internet retailers and used to produce charts of the South African bestsellers. In a given week the sales of over 40,000 individual titles are tracked.


The resultant market measure reveals long and short term trends in the consumer tastes of books selling to the SA consumer.

The Nielsen BookScan data is delivered via an online business intelligence platform allowing you to filter as much or as little detail as you need.

  • Retailers can make accurate decisions on the most appropriate titles to stock in store and reduce costs of returns and irrelevant orders.
  • Publishers can make effective decisions on reprints or distribution with early and accurate information on exactly how many copies have actually been sold to customers (not order line information) and whether those sales were at full price or discounted.

*The business was previously operated via SAPnet, with Nielsen BookScan taking over responsibility in August 2020.



Please contact us if you wish your sales to contribute to the South African market measure. This is a free service and in return you are entitled to receive standard, comprehensive and repeat data in return for giving Nielsen BookData Research access to your individual sales data.

For more information please contact Dewald Van Wyk: dewald.vanwyk@nielseniq.com

Nielsen Book UK