Sales of business and economic print books in the United States continue to rise, reaching a 10-year high in the year ending April 23, 2022. The second largest adult nonfiction topic in the United States after sales of books on religion, business and economics a quarter of the overall adult non-fiction unit volume, according to The NDP group.
U.S. print book unit sales in the business category increased 10%, for the year ending April 23, 2022, compared to the prior year. The category has also grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4% over the past 10 years. The business print book category is large and complex, with over 100 topics and over 200 subcategory topics included in the BISAC-1 Business and Economics category.
“The fastest growing business subcategories reflected current business trends,” said Kristen McLean, book industry analyst for NPD. Areas of focus include scaling up entrepreneurship, redesigning human resources and organizational behavior, and a focus on broadening both personal and professional skills.
Topics focused on personal finance and investing, an area that grew in the second half of 2020 and early 2021, suffered the largest declines in year-over-year sales. However, even though books related to personal finance and investments have declined from the 2021 high point, they continue to show continued strength from pre-pandemic levels. In fact, comparing to 2019, unit sales for the finance and investment topic so far in 2022 are up 27%. Books focused on financial independence and financial literacy are key themes among the top-selling titles in these subjects.
“During the early years of the pandemic, when stay-at-home orders were in effect, many households sought advice to help them navigate their personal financial realities,” McLean said. “Many book buyers also had more discretionary money to invest, thanks to the pause in travel and other experiences, as well as additional cash from government stimulus payments and loan pauses. As the population returns to the office, the pendulum swings the other way, and we return to more traditional areas of focus in business and economics.