Book trade sees strong Christmas sales

Book trade sees strong Christmas sales

The book market has seen strong Christmas trading, with the week leading up to the big day ranking the highest in value since 2007, figures from Nielsen BookScan have shown.

Altogether £83.3m worth of print books sold were sold in the run up to Christmas - the highest since 2007.

The strong Christmas also indicates that sales in the UK print book market in 2016 were up for a second year in a row.

For the 51 weeks of 2016, 192m print books were sold for £1.56bn—already 5.1% up in value on 2015’s 52 week total and 2.5% up in volume with a week in hand.

The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playscript by Jack Thorne (Little, Brown) was the biggest-selling book of last year with 1.45 million copies sold for £15.8m.

Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train (Black Swan) was the biggest adult fiction title, with 1.1 million copies sold for £5.3m, and Joe Wicks' Lean in 15 (Bluebird) was the biggest non-fiction, with 989,923 copies sold in 2016 for £8m.

Booksellers Association c.e.o Tim Godfray has welcomed the increase in print sales, saying that “the graph for booksellers is starting to move up, after a very difficult period".

In his end of year note to booksellers, he said: “Thank heavens so many... were wide of the mark when predicting the death of the physical bookshop and the demise of the printed book… I have been hugely heartened by the anecdotal sales’ reports from our members in the UK and Ireland. Consumers do appear to be coming back to the printed book and to bookshops."