Regional bestsellers: NL vs NT/NU and ON vs BC

This post wraps up our series of regional bestseller posts. (Previously we took a look at Sports & Recreation books selling in Manitoba and PEI and Biography and Autobiography bestsellers in Saskatchewan and Yukon and before that we pulled together the bestselling Mystery & Detective books in New Brunswick and Quebec and which cookbooks sold the most in Alberta and Nova Scotia.)

This week we're looking at which Juvenile titles are selling the most in Newfoundland and Labrador versus the Northwest Territories and Nunavut (these two territories are combined in our data due to population size). And then we're going to show you which Nature books are selling the most in Ontario and British Columbia.

A quick explanation of our methodology: data was gathered from BNC SalesData, the national sales tracking service for the English-language print trade market. The top 10 Canadian-authored titles were identified according to total units sold over the last four weeks in each subject category.

To the data!

Bestselling Juvenile titles in Newfoundland and Labrador and Northwest Territories/Nunavut

Newfoundland and Labrador

Northwest Territories/Nunavut

While a first glance at these lists might indicate that the regional differences are stark, a closer inspection shows that book buyers in Newfoundland and Labrador and the Northwest Territories/Nunavut are both buying lots of Robert Munsch titles — they're just different Robert Munsch titles. Six of the top 10 titles in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut and five of the 10 in Newfoundland and Labrador are written by Robert Munsch. He's a perennial bestselling national treasure.

However, the other non-Munsch titles on the lists do show strong regional preferences. In the top 10 for NL are Smokeroom on the Kyle by Ted Russell, a poem about "jigging squid in outport Newfoundland and Labrador," and The Puffin Patrol by Dawn Barker, a story about two kids rescuing puffins in Witless Bay, NL — both published by Flanker Press, a Newfoundland and Labrador publisher since 1994. All Around the Circle by Cara Kansala was published by Breakwater Books, another Newfoundland and Labrador publisher (established in 1973) and the story "celebrates the landscape and spirit of outport Newfoundland."

On the NT and NU list, A Northern Alphabet by Ted Harrison and Stories of the Aurora by Joan Marie Galat both focus on northern subjects and places above the 60th parallel. Wild Eggs: A Tale of Arctic Egg Hunting by Suzie Napayok-Short is set in Nunavut and written by a Nunavut-born authorWild Eggs was published by Inhabit Media, an Inuit-owned publishing house in Iqaluit.

Bestselling Nature titles in Ontario and British Columbia


British Columbia

Maybe it should come as no surprise that the category with the largest regional differences is Nature. A look at the lists above shows that most of the top-selling books are very specific to the region in which they're selling. Five of the top 10 Nature books sold in Ontario over the last four weeks contain the word "Ontario" in their titles. And seven of the 10 titles from the British Columbia list reference either "British Columbia," "Vancouver," or "the Pacific Northwest." 

The one title common to both lists is Into the Fire, a "first-hand account" of the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire written by firefighters Jerron Hawley, Graham Hurley, and Steve Sackett of the Fort McMurray Fire Department. 

And thus concludes our series of Canadian-authored regional bestsellers. If you would like to see more in this series or if you have ideas for future instalments (i.e., regions or subject categories you'd like to compare), please let us know in the comments. We'd love to hear them.