Print book sales are down 4.8% in the first 9 months of 2022

Books in print declined slightly in the first nine months of 2022. Overall sales in the United States fell from 570 million copies sold from January to September in 2021 to 542.6 million in 2022. Adult fiction has was the strongest category all year and grew 9.5% in the first nine months of the year. One of the most successful authors of the year was Colleen Hoover, with sales of It Ends with Us approaching two million copies, while Verity and Ugly Love Truth and ugly love also had sales of over a million copies each. Where the Crawdads sing by Delia Owens was the fourth title to sell over a million copies through September, with sales just over 1.6 million.

Looking at non-fiction sales in the first nine months of 2022, the most successful book was James Clear’s Atomic Habits, which sold over 933,000 copies, while Bessel’s The Body Keeps the Score van der Kolk sold approximately 466,000 copies.

The only other major category to post an increase in sales outside of adult fiction was young adult fiction, whose sales edged up 0.4%, helped by a strong third quarter. Jenny Han was the star of the category, with four of her books tied to the hit streaming service The Summer I Turned Pretty selling around 1.1 million copies.

Sales of children’s fiction and non-fiction decreased by 8% and 9.9%, respectively. In children’s non-fiction, unit sales in the social situations/family/health segment saw the largest decline, dropping 19.5%, while biography/autobiography sales fell 13.6%. The only subcategory to see an increase over the nine-month period was Holidays/Festivals/Religion, where sales rose 4.8%.

All print formats experienced lower unit sales during the period, with the struggling mass market segment seeing an 18.4% sales decline. Sales of hardcover units fell 8.9%, much more than the 1.8% decline recorded by trade paperbacks.

via Publishers Weekly and NDP Bookscan