Press room

Canadian print book market holding steady in 2016

Toronto, ON – Oct. 6, 2016 – Fiction drops slightly while Juvenile increases

Steady is the new normal for the Canadian book market. Looking back over the first six months of 2016, when compared to the same period in 2015, print book sales in the trade market have remained relatively flat with a slight 1.1% decrease in units sold, according to data reported by sales tracking service BNC SalesData. This is consistent with comparisons of units sold between 2014 and 2015, which saw an increase of 1% in units sold over that time period.

We see more drastic fluctuations when we break down the figures by main subject. The first half of 2016 saw Fiction unit sales drop by 5.1%, compared to the same period last year, with an accompanying 1.7% decrease in value sold. Meanwhile, Juvenile sales (which includes Young Adult), was up 1% in units sold and 5.6% in value sold. This does not take into account sales of juggernaut Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was published after this period in July 2016. Non-Fiction remained relatively flat, with increases of 0.9% in units sold and 1.2% in value sold.

In terms of format preferences among book buyers, consumer surveys show little to no change. When comparing buying habits between the second quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of 2016, we see a drop from 55% to 54% for paperback, an increase from 16% to 18% for ebooks, and a slight jump for audiobooks from 2% to 3%, while hardcover stayed flat at 23% of market share.

Further sales and consumer data on the 2016 print book market will be available in early 2017 at

- # # # -

BookNet Canada is a non-profit organization that develops technology, standards and education to serve the Canadian book industry. 

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) for this project. / Nous reconnaissons l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada par l’entremise du Fonds du livre du Canada (FLC) pour ce projet.

Media Contact:
Zalina Alvi
Marketing & Communications Manager
BookNet Canada 
(416) 362-5057 x 225