Press room

Canadian Book Sales Defy Odds in Q1 2009

2009 Q1 Volume Up 6.7%, Value Up 5.0% Over Q1 of 2008

TORONTO – April 6, 2009 Canadian book sales continue to show steady growth in the first quarter of 2009 vs. the same time period of 2008 with volume up 6.7% and value up 5.0% in the first three months of the calendar year.

“This was when the other shoe was supposed to drop, after Christmas when gift sales were no longer a factor. But in the face of declining book sales in the US and UK, we are still seeing steady performance in English-language Canadian book sales in Q1,” says Michael Tamblyn, CEO of BookNet Canada. “For the time being, Canadians continue to view books as a staple, not a luxury.”

The year-over-year increase in the first quarter of this year shows an increase even from the results reported for Q4 2008, particularly in value sold. The holiday season of 2008 showed a 6% increase in units sold and a 2% increase in dollars sold, compared to the almost 7% and 5% seen in Q1 of 2009.

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 from across the country. 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.