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2012 Annual Market Snapshot

In 2012, the Canadian trade market for print books experienced a dip. This is not unexpected as ebooks gain popularity among readers. According to BookNet Canada’s market research, in 2012 approximately 15% of books purchased were ebooks.

Below is the size of the Canadian book market in 2012, according to the tracking of print books done by BNC SalesData.

    Volume (units sold)
    Value (C$)


According to our analysis of the control group of retail panelists, the trade print market saw similar dips in volume and value.

    -6.6% growth on previous year
    -4.9% growth on previous year


Here is how the Canadian market breaks down across major subject categories:

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According to BookNet Canada’s consumer research, ebook sales in 2012 were highest in Q1, the season following the holidays, and tapered off slightly over time.

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Interestingly, ebooks hit their lowest point of the year in Q4 when print formats were at their strongest.

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Watch for BookNet Canada’s second volume of The Canadian Book Consumer, coming out in May 2013, for market research on book reading and buying trends in Canada. For more information on print market size and trends, purchase a copy of The Canadian Book Market.

The Canadian Book Market is a comprehensive guide to the Canadian print market. BookNet Canada produces this annual report as part of our commitment to informing and empowering members of the Canadian book industry supply chain to thrive, innovate and compete. The CBM is compiled using data from BNC SalesData, the sales tracking service for Canada. SalesData collects POS data from over 2,500 retail outlets across the country, which is an estimated print market coverage of 85%. To learn more about SalesData click here.