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2008 Canadian Book Sales Higher in Q4, December Than 2007

2008 Canadian Book Sales 6% higher in Q4, 5% higher in December compared to 2007

TORONTO – January 19, 2009 Canadian book sales in 2008 remained strong with book sales 6% higher in units and 2% higher in dollars in the last three months of 2008 than they were over the same time period in 2007.

“These are strong numbers considering both the economic climate and the winter climate this year,” says Michael Tamblyn, CEO of BookNet Canada. “Canadian book-lovers were tested by economic uncertainty and terrible weather coast-to-coast in the last two weeks of December and still fought their way into bookstores.”

In the four weeks ending November 23, 2008, unit sales in Canada were up 4.9% and dollars were 2% higher. In December of 2008, Canadian unit sales were 5% higher than 2007 while value was relatively flat (+0.5%).

The average list price for the top 500 titles was down about 6% in 2008 compared to December 2007 and the average hardcover was about 8% cheaper in the last month of 2008 than in the year previous.

All figures for this report have been drawn from BookNet Canada’s national book sales tracking system, BNC SalesData, using the year-over-year sales from a fixed panel of 665 retail locations. BNC SalesData tracks approximately 75% of the Canadian book market with data from over 1,000 retail sources, including chains, independents, online, college/university stores, and non-traditional bookstores, such as specialty and discount stores.

For more market analysis and information on BookNet Canada and BNC SalesData, please visit BookNet Canada’s website at

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About BookNet Canada
BookNet Canada is the not-for-profit agency created by the Canadian book industry and the Department of Canadian Heritage to facilitate improvements in the book industry supply chain. It provides services and develops standards and certification in areas including electronic commerce via EDI (Electronic Document Interchange), bibliographic data, and analysis of point-of-sales and other supply chain data. BookNet acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP) for its initiatives.