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US book sales up

10 July 2017

Figures from the US continue the trend in book sales which shows children's books doing well and hardback sales outpacing trade paperback and mass market segments. It's good to see positive figures - unit sales for 2017 are 3% higher than in the first 6 months of last year.

Adult colouring books are slowing right down, a comforting result for those who would prefer bestselling status to go to books with words.

The top non-fiction seller - a rather strange bit of categorisation - is Rupi Kaur's Milk and Honey, a poetry book we highlighted last year with this link How To Sell Nearly a Half-Million Copies of a Poetry Book.

As before the ongoing success story is the children's publishing area, with juvenile fiction up 5% and one backlist title, Dr Seuss's popular classic Oh, The Places You'll Go! the overall most popular title with 482,000 copies sold in the first half of the year. Juvenile fiction is up 5% with the amusingly named ‘animal category' sales up 21%!

Children's backlist sales are strong. Roger Priddy's First 100 Words sold almost 195,000 copies, suggesting parents are looking for books to help with their children's education.

As regards format, there are no figures on ebook sales but hardback sales are up a rather astonishing 7%, trade paperbacks up 2% and mass market paperbacks down 9%, showing a clear transfer from paperback to hardback and probably to ebook as well.