Unit sales of print books fell 4.1% in the first nine months of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, at outlets that report to Circana BookScan according to a recent article in Publishers Weekly.
The book trade publication said, “Sales in every major category fell, with the most notable development being the third-quarter swoon in adult fiction, where sales dropped 7.6%, leaving it 0.2% below the first nine months of 2022… Graphic novels, which posted huge gains in 2021 and 2022, continued to see sales slide in 2023, with units down 24.3% in the nine-month period. Even with the big decline, graphic novels was the third-biggest adult fiction subcategory, trailing only general fiction and romance.”
PW said that while the total of 526.8 million units sold through September is down from comparable periods in 2022 and 2021, it is still up 3% over 2020 and almost 11% over 2019.
Looking at the global market WordsRated wrote in June, "The global book publishing industry, including both the trade and educational segments, is projected to rise by 1.9% annually by 2030. However, unexpected circumstances like the global pandemic could heavily influence the market for better or worse. As of 2023, the global book publishing revenue stands at $129 billion, jumping from $122 billion in 2018.”
The global book publishing market will be valued at $143.65 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow to $163.89 billion by 2030.
With respect to global book sales statistics, trade books are the market’s biggest segment, accounting for more than 60% of global revenue. However, the trade segment has seen some stagnation over the last several years:
As for the US market, Words Rated wrote, as of 2022, over 788 million copies of print books were sold in the US in one year. While this figure presents a drop from a record-breaking 2021, print book sales are still well over pre-pandemic levels.
In terms of the age categories, adult nonfiction still dominates the market, but the young adult segment is the one that’s recording the fastest growth.
A similar view emerged from book sales statistics put together by bloggingwizard.com also released in June of this year. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the data from this list:
By 2025, ebooks will generate $17.7 billion in annual revenue around the world. (Statista8) (Annual revenue for ebooks was $13.5 billion in 2017 for comparison.)
Between 2005 and 2021, print publishing industries saw a decline of over $68 billion in revenue. (Statista2).
The most popular book category in the United States, nonfiction, sold 289,612 units in 2022. (Statista3)
Revenue from audiobooks amounted to $1.6 billion in revenue in 2021. (Statista9)
Data published by Statista on audiobook sales shows that revenue from audiobooks reached $1.6 billion in the United States in 2021.
That information comes from 28 publishers, including Audible, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, HachetteAudio and Macmillan.
The website explodingtopics.com graphed the growth of ebooks and audiobooks and wrote, "Audiobooks are one of the biggest high-growth sectors for the publishing industry, " adding that, "ebook sales are actually outperforming audiobooks."
Other growth areas were an increase in self-publishing. The number of readers who get their audio books from the public library also grew significantly. Another trend noted was the increasing popularity of book summary sites.
A September overview from the blog.gitnux.com/book-sales-statistics predicted the revenue from book sales in the U.S. is expected to reach 23.9 billion dollars in 2023. This site also observed the trend of borrowing digital media from public libraries.
According to their data, Mexico experienced the highest increase in book sales between 2020 and 2021, with a 39% jump - this is important as it shows the potential of the book market in Mexico, and highlights the need for further research into the factors that led to this growth. It also noted that Print books continue to dominate the global book market, but their revenue is declining while ebook and audiobook revenue is steadily increasing.