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Industry

UK print book sales continue to rise

One sector of the print industry that continues to report a steady growth is the book printing market, with a total of 190.9 million books sold last year in the UK.

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Book sales have continued to rise in the UK

Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming has been cited to have helped grow the UK book market significantly, with half a million book copies sold in less than two months making it the most valuable title of the year, according to The Bookseller

It was not, however, the year’s bestselling book as Adam Kay’s memoir This Is Going to Hurt beat the former first lady in non-fiction, and the overall best-selling was Gail Honeyman’s debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Statistics from Nielsen BookScan show the market in the UK grew by 2.1% in value and 0.3% in volume in 2018.  In the UK in 2018, 190.9 million books were sold at a value of £1.63bn, with The Bookseller reporting this was up £34m on 2017.

We punch well above our weight as an industry and cultural light and must continue to invest in writers and writing. Believe in the power of books

The Bookseller’s editor Philip Jones told the Guardian he believed the growth was “another glitch in the eye of those pundits who thought physical books would go the way of the CD, DVD or even vinyl”, also citing the success of Waterstones, the smaller chains like Foyles, and a large number of independent booksellers on the high street.

Jones adds: “When you consider the Nielsen-measured print-book market alongside all those bits of the sector we do not have numbers for – including direct sales, sales though bargain bookstores or the discount supermarkets, the second-hand market, plus digital – it is pretty clear that the book is the unassailable leader of the entertainment pack.”

Literary agent Jonny Geller reacted to the news on Twitter: “We punch well above our weight as an industry and cultural light and must continue to invest in writers and writing. Believe in the power of books.”

If you have a news story, email summer@linkpublishing.co.uk or follow us on Twitter to have your say.


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