Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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US print sales rose 2% in first half of 2018

US print sales in the first half of 2018 have increased 2% in volume compared to the first six months of 2017, reports Publishers Weekly.

Volume sales in the first half of 2018 reached 316.8 million according to NPD BookScan, up from 310.7 million in the same period in 2017, with nonfiction driving much of the gain. This follows a 3% increase in volume in six-month unit sales in 2017 over the same period in 2016.

In the adult nonfiction segment—the industry’s largest major category—unit sales of print books rose 4%. Fire and Fury (Michael Wolff, Little, Brown) was the bestselling title in the first half of 2018, selling nearly 1 million print copies. The nonfiction category was also buoyed by strong sales of Magnolia Table (Joanna Gaines, HarperCollins), selling almost 676,000 copies in the same period, and James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty (Pan Macmillan) selling more than 577,000 copies.

The adult fiction category saw a 4% decline in unit sales, with Publishers Weekly describing the first half of 2018 as ‘yet another period where no new novel broke out in print’. The top-selling novel in the first six months of 2018 was The President Is Missing (Bill Clinton & James Patterson, Century), which sold nearly 384,000 copies, followed by Stephen King’s The Outsider (Hachette).

Sale units rose across both juvenile nonfiction and juvenile fiction, with juvenile nonfiction seeing the greatest growth, up 7% compared to the first half of 2017. The top-selling title in the segment was First 100 Words (Roger Priddy, Priddy Books), which sold more than 186,000 copies. Within the juvenile nonfiction category, young adult nonfiction print sales showed strong growth, up 68% over the first half of 2017. Subcategories including education/reference/language and social situations/family health recorded sizable increases.

Juvenile fiction sales rose 3% in the first half of the year, led by A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle, Penguin), which sold just over 514,000 copies and was boosted by the 2018 film based on the book.

By format, hardcover sales were up over the first half of 2017, while trade paperback sales were almost flat with the prior year. Mass market paperbacks were down 3% compared to the first half of 2017, which was itself down 9% compared to the same period in 2016. Physical audiobook (CD) sales, meanwhile, plummeted 28% in the first six months of 2018, while digital audio continues to grow.

 

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Category: International news