Perennial bestsellers: The tried and true titles

Perennial Bestsellers report cover.

We can all look to weekly bestseller lists to see what's hot in the book market week to week, but what about those books that have sold quietly but consistently over the long term, regardless of whether or not they have ever reached bestseller status? Getting a sense of these perennial bestsellers can be a bit more difficult.

Well, the BookNet Canada research team has done this hard work for you. In our Perennial Bestsellers report, available exclusively for SalesData subscribers (subscribers can access the study here with credentials available on the home page), we list the most reliable books to stock by category — i.e., those that had the most consistent sales from 2012 to 2016. This is a follow-up to our two previous perennial bestseller studies in 2010 and 2013.

This year's report expands the study period from three to five years to get a broader scope. And alongside the top 20 perennially bestselling titles in each of the 17 categories, we've highlighted three "Classics and newsmakers" and three "Titles you may have missed."

Here are some of the highlights:

Classics and newsmakers:

  1. The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell (Health & Fitness): 
    After kicking off the health conscious trend upon its release, the study continues to find new readers.
  2. Anytime Casseroles by Jean Paré (Cooking): 
    Paré has built a considerable reputation with her Company’s Coming cookbooks, which appear perennially in the top 20.
  3. StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath (Business): 
    A consistent powerhouse in the Business category.
  4. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed (Biography & Autobiography): 
    Interest in Strayed’s writing grew fantastically with the 2014 film adaptation of Wild.
  5. The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler (Thriller):
    Rave reviews have helped this English adaptation remain at the top.

Titles you may have missed:

  1. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo (Religion): 
    Following a 2014 film adaptation, sales have fallen but it continues to be a steady seller.
  2. 1491 by Charles C. Mann (History):
    With a marriage of multiple disciplines, this award-winning book has steady year-over-year sales.
  3. Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman (Comics):
    A new TV adaptation of the spin-off comic series, Lucifer, may prove to be a boon for The Sandman series.
  4. Big Board Books Colors, ABC, Numbers by Roger Priddy (Juvenile Non-fiction):
    An important read for many young readers, sales have been trending upwards.
  5. Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal (Mystery & Detective): 
    The award-winning debut of the female WWII detective has had sustained success.

There's so much more in the full study!

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