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Canadian Book Sales Down in 2017

16 January 2018

From Publishers Weekly:

Unit sales of print books fell 4% in 2017 compared to 2016 in Canada, while dollar sales dropped 3%, according to figures compiled by BookNet Canada’s sales tracking service.

BookNet reported that the Canadian book industry sold approximately 51.5 million copies in 2017, for just over C$1 billion. Figures are based on a group of retailers that provide sales data to BookNet annually and account for about 85% of print sales.

. . . .

Last year, 60% of all print book sales were for backlist books, which was up 2% over 2016, BookNet reported.

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

From Publishing Perspectives, a story about a BookNet Canada report on digital sales released in mid-2017:

In its newly released (June 6) State of Digital Publishing In Canada report for 2016, BookNet Canada cites rising digital revenue reported by 61 percent of responding publishers in 2016.

One in four surveyed publishers, according to the study, logged an increase of “at least 25 percent in digital revenue over the previous year.”

This, of course, will raise eyebrows among industry leaders in the USA and UK, where “the ebook plateau” has become a favored meme and a “print resurgence” is a much-valued concept.

But there’s an interesting flip side to this. “At the same time,” write staffers of BookNet—the nonprofit service group for Canadian publishing—”the percentage of ebooks with sales has declined once again, from 88 percent in 2014 to 73 percent in 2015 to 54 percent in 2016.

“The publishing firms surveyed for the study reported that, when taking into account their entire digital catalogs, 46 percent of their available ebooks saw no sales in 2016.”

. . . .

“According to research conducted by BookNet Canada, in a series of surveys of book-buying Canadians, ebook sales in Canada declined by just over 2 percent between 2015 and 2016 (from 19 to 16.9 percent).

“The US and the UK have seen a similar phenomenon; in data reported directly by publishers, ebook sales have declined by 4 percent in the UK, and in the US the Association for American Publishers reported a drop of 14 percent between 2014 and 2015.”

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives

PG suggests studies like these answer the question, “What would the ebook world be like if Amazon didn’t exist?”

Ebooks, Non-US

4 Comments to “Canadian Book Sales Down in 2017”

  1. Actually the question I’d like to ask these studies is: ‘ebook sales by whom?’ I am willing to bet it doesn’t include independent authors. Amazon wouldn’t give them those figures but DataGuy in his last report estimated those at 25% in the US. As usual, I recommend taking these kinds of figures with a goodly number of grains of salt.

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