March 5, 2021

NPD Group (NPD Bookscan) Reports Print Book Sales Rose 2 Percent in the First Half of 2018

From NPD:

Print book sales are trending upward, due to growth in adult nonfiction titles, specifically religious books, cookbooks, and political books. Sales volume in the first half of 2018 rose 2 percent, year over year, to reach 317 million units, according to The NPD Group.

Print Book Category Growth Led by Adult Non-Fiction Titles

Adult non-fiction print book sales increased 4 percent in the first half of 2018, with 136 million units sold. In addition to politics and cooking, religion and self-help book sales also continued to grow, posting 6 percent and 12 percent increases respectively

“Blockbuster nonfiction titles are spearheading this year’s growth in print book sales,” said Kristen Mclean, books industry analyst for NPD.  “The presence of politics on the charts is unparalleled, ‘Fire and Fury,’ ‘A Higher Loyalty,’ and ‘A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo’ all in the top ten. The heightened interest in politics extends beyond the news cycle, with sales of political books posting their highest sales volume in the past fifteen years. At the same time, double-digit growth in the cookbook category is also bolstering overall nonfiction sales.

Adult fiction print sales declined 4 percent, falling to 63 million units in the first half of 2018. The steepest declines in the adult fiction category came from the religious-fiction and romance sub-categories. Mystery-detective and sci-fi were bright spots, posting 5 percent and 18 percent growth respectively.

Following are the top-selling print book titles for the first half of 2018:

Rank
Title
Author
Publisher
Pub. Date
1
Fire and Fury
Michael Wolff
Macmillan
1/1/2018
2
Magnolia Table
Joanna Gaines
HarperCollins
4/1/2018
3
A Higher Loyalty
James Comey
Macmillan
4/1/2018
4
A Wrinkle in Time
Madeleine L’Engle
Macmillan
5/1/2007
5
Dog Man and Cat Kid
Dav Pilkey
Scholastic
12/1/2017
6
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo
Marlon Bundo
Chronicle
3/1/2018
7
12 Rules for Life
Jordan B. Peterson
Penguin Random House
1/1/2018
8
Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Dr. Seuss
Penguin Random House
1/1/1990
9
The President is Missing
James Patterson, Bill Clinton
Hachette Book Group
6/1/2018
10
You Are a Badass
Jen Sincero
Hachette Book Group
4/1/2013

Source: The NPD Group /NPD BookScan and PubTrack Digital, January – June, 2018.

NPD BookScan provides point-of-sale tracking for the publishing market. It covers approximately 85 percent of trade print books sold in the U.S., through direct reporting from all major retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Target, independent bookstores, and many others.

See Also: Association of American Publishers (AAP) Reports Publisher Revenue for Consumer Books Up 3.6% First Half of 2018; 3.4% Increase in eBook Revenue for University Presses (September 7, 2018)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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