FALL IN BOOK SALES

FALL IN BOOK SALES

jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Friday 28th June 2019

 New chapter? UK print book sales fall while audiobooks surge 43%

UK book sales fell for the first time in five years in 2018, despite the success of bestsellers such as Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming.

The UK publishing industry was hit by a surprise fall of £168m (5.4%) in sales of physical books last year, ending a period of growth stretching back to at least 2014.

Sales fell from £3.11bn in 2017 to £2.95bn last year, according to the latest figures from the Publishers Association, which published its annual yearbook on Wednesday.

Audiobook sales surged 43% to £69m last year, with Amazon’s Audible service dominating sales. However, Stephen Lotinga, the chief executive of the Publishers Association, said this was not the sole reason for the decline in print sales.

“One of the biggest changes has been the increase in audiobook sales,” said Lotinga. “There is some substitution away from print, audio has surged, but there was also always going to be a point where print sales couldn’t continue rising every year.”

Some of the biggest hits last year included Michelle Obama’s Becoming, published in print and as an audiobook, which is on its way to becoming the most successful memoir in modern publishing history.

Other big sellers included Joe Wicks’s The Fat-Loss Plan: 100 Quick and Easy Recipes with Workouts, Michael Wolff’s White House exposé Fire and Fury and John Grisham’s The Rooster Bar.

Lotinga said the rise in the popularity of podcasts, with the music streaming giant Spotify spending up to $500m this year buying podcast companies to tap the boom, was indirectly helping the book market.

“We think that podcasting is helping to drive a resurgence in audio in general, including books,” he said. “Publishers are investing a huge amount in building [recording] studios and securing the services of top quality actors to voice the books. We think the whole audio scene is showing huge opportunity.”

However, he warned against pronouncing the beginning of a terminal decline in physical book sales in the same way the music industry has experienced with the move from CD to streaming in the last decade.

Sales of printed books still accounted for over 80% of the combined print and digital UK book market of £3.6bn last year.

Overall, the digital book market, which as well as audiobooks includes ebook sales and subscriptions to services such as Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, rose 4.6% to £653m.

“I’m not concerned that this could be a watershed moment for the printed book, we are not there yet,” said Lotinga. “We have not seen a huge shift into subscription services, piracy is low, people still love physical books. It is a trend halt, sales are still up 8% over the last five years.”

Consumer ebook sales continued their slow decline, down 2% to £251m. Sales have fallen 20% since 2014 as rising competition for screen time from services such as Netflix, Facebook and YouTube continues to eat away at the popularity of ebooks and ereaders.

Total sales of UK-published books domestically and overseas, including income from print and digital journals, academic and reference books, rose 2% to £6bn last year.

The 25 bestselling books of 2018    (Data: Nielsen Bookscan 31/12/17-8/12/18       )

 

Title                                                                                                        Author                                   Sales

1              Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine                                               Gail Honeyman                   806,469

2              This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor               Adam Kay                            469,825

3              The Ice Monster                                                                                  David Walliams                   439,077

4              Lose Weight for Good: Full-flavour

Cooking for a Low-calorie Diet                                        Tom Kerridge                       399,304

5              The World’s Worst Children 3                                                           David Walliams                   344,990

6              The Midnight Line                                                                               Lee Child                               342,814

7              Origin                                                                                                     Dan Brown                           309,118

8              Becoming                                                                                              Michelle Obama                  287,223

9              Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind                                        Yuval Noah Harari             273,516

10           Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown                                           Jeff Kinney                           269,177

11           The Tattooist of Auschwitz                                                               Heather Morris                     268,685

12           Into the Water                                                                                      Paula Hawkins                     255,018

13           The Break                                                                                             Marian Keyes                       245,127

14           Guinness World Records 2019                                                                                                          234,057

15           5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food                                                  Jamie Oliver                          228,188

16           The Midnight Gang                                                                             David Walliams                   219,146

17           The Rooster Bar                                                                                  John Grisham                       193,746

18           The Fat-loss Plan:100 Quick and Easy Recipes

with Workouts                                                                      Joe Wicks                              180,602

19           Camino Island                                                                                     John Grisham                       177,746

20           First Man In: Leading from the Front                                             Ant Middleton                      165,294

21           Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone                                       JK Rowling                            164,160

22           Where’s the Unicorn?: A Magical Search-and-find Book            Sophie Schrey

& Jonny Marx                      161,492

23           Oi Goat!                                                                                                 Kes Gray                               160,887

24           Fire and Fury                                                                                        Michael Wolff                      159,881

25           The Girl Before                                                                                    JP Delaney                            159,753

 

THE ULTRA SUCCESSFUL BOOKCASE, LOWDHAM, NOTTS WHO PROVE TRENDS CAN BE BUCKED (OR IS IT BOOKED)

 

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY

If you look the right way, you can see the whole world is a garden- James Joyce, A portrait of the Artist as a young man

HAPPINESS IS…

Happiness is…the beauty of a good physical book to hold, caress and read with your eyes.

 GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY

No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationary

LOVE IS…

Love is… Love is…intense

TRACK OF THE DAY

Take My Breath Away (Love Theme From Top Gun) – Berlin

Highest Chart Position: No.1 8th November 1986

WHAT DAY IS IT?

Friday 28th June 2019

Happy Heart Hugs Day

International Body Piercing Day

Tapioca Day

 

 

 

 

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