Winter is coming. And to help you get ready for the holiday book buyer, let's take a look at some holiday perennial favourites — these are the books that sell consistently well during the holiday season year over year — in the Fiction category.
Specifically, we looked at titles with the most consistent sales during the last eight weeks of the year for each year from 2015 to 2017, thanks to our consistently awesome BNC SalesData sales-tracking service. (SalesData tracks sales in the Canadian, English-language trade market for print books only; sales for formats like ebooks and digital audiobooks are not included.) This means that all Fiction titles on the list were published more than three years ago and have sold well over the holiday period in 2015, 2016, and 2017. We then sorted the compiled list by units sold in 2017 to make sure the rankings reflected the current relevance of each title. Though sales for some of these titles may have diminished or increased over the course of the three years, they remained high enough to be considered perennial bestsellers. We removed titles with the "Classics" BISAC subject as those titles sell consistently all year round.
The overall perennial Fiction list contains mostly general, literary, and fantasy titles.
The top 10 perennial Fiction favourites over the holidays
A Game of Thrones Set by George R. R. Martin (Random House, 9780345535528)
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (Hodder & Stoughton, 9781444775815)
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner, 9781501104565)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (HarperCollins, 9780062315007)
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (HarperCollins, 9780307887443)
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Doubleday Canada, 9780770428792)
1984 by George Orwell (Penguin Books, 9780141036144)
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (DAW, 9780756404741)
Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis 🇨🇦 (Coach House, 9781552453056)
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (Europa Editions, 9781609450786)
The list may seem a little un-festive; it contains the dystopian 1984 and, perhaps surprisingly, the first five books in the Game of Thrones series, an action-filled violent tale not quite in line with the tradition of heart-warming stories told around the holiday season.
Interestingly, four of last year's perennial titles have staying power, appearing as relevant and bestselling titles on this year's list: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (although not the set), 1984 by George Orwell, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
As noted earlier, titles with the BISAC code "Classics" were filtered out from the top 10 list. Only one Fiction perennial title, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, was removed based on this criteria.
You can find out more about these tried and true books in our Holiday Perennials 2018 – Fiction catalogue.
Stay tuned for more holiday perennials! Next up in the series are the Non-Fiction, Juvenile, and Young Adult categories. As we are all beginning to understand, winter is here and staying.