Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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UK book sales steady in first-half of 2017 despite absence of blockbuster

In the UK, print sales were up 1.2% to £652.7m (A$1.1b) in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2016 according to Nielsen BookScan, reports the Bookseller.

Despite the small jump in value, the volume of books shrunk, down 1.5.% to 80.3m units sold, which continues a trend of shrinking or minimal gains in volume with a rise in average selling prices.

The strong first-half of the year came without a huge blockbuster book: in 11 of its weeks, the UK’s top-selling book of that week sold fewer than 20,000 copies. In comparison, only 11 number-one titles sold sub-20,000 copies in the 572 weeks between 2003-13. Mary Berry’s Mary Berry Everyday (Ebury) was the bestseller by value in the first half of 2017, which accounted for a little over £2m (A$3.3m), just over one-third of the first half of 2016’s top earner, Joe Wicks’ Lean in 15 (Macmillan).

The Bookseller said that in the absence of blockbuster titles, the top-line takeaway could be that ‘more medium-successful books did slightly better this year than last’. ‘It shows 2017 has been built on a solid foundation,’ the Bookseller wrote. ‘And the good news is that the slender sales rise keeps the streak alive, with the third half-year of TCM growth on the trot, reversing six years of successive declines.’


Category: International news