According to an analysis done by Publisher’s Weekly of data reported to Nielsen Bookscan, print book sales are expected to rise for the first time since 2008. This reflects the recent trend that ebook sales are levelling out at around 30% of total sales in America, although, the exact ratio of ebook to print sales is genre dependent. This is good news for authors given that America is the world’s largest English language book market. It is also very good news for bookshops, our biggest supporters (aside from readers, of course!).

The prediction is based on the fact that unit sales of print books are up 2% in the first 47 weeks of 2014, year on year, and over the five-week holiday period last year, total print book sales increased a staggering 9.1%. This was the first increase in print book holiday sales since 2009.

Another positive indicator from the 2009 Christmas holiday period sales data was that sales of adult fiction titles in print – the category most affected by ebook sales – grew 6.1% from 2012 to 2013.

The table below indicates American bookshop sales / week in the last five weeks of the year from 2010 through to 2013. These numbers made my day when I read them. Prophesies of doom and gloom about the rise of Candy Crush and the demise of the book cannot compete with the fact that even in the worst year on record, 2012, American booksellers sold 17,454 books PER WEEK. And we authors can still add ebook sales and sales in Australia and other markets to those numbers. Numeric proof that not only do people still read but readers still buy books!

Holiday print unit sales by segment

Speaking purely from personal experience, I think print books and ebooks look set to live comfortably side-by-side in the future, with ebooks for ‘every day’ and paperbacks and hard covers for ‘special occasions’. What do you think?

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  1. Awesome article, thanks so much!

  1. Book Sale Stuff | Sonya's Stuff

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