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Print poetry sales grew by 79% in 2016

Toronto, ON – March 15, 2017 – Growth attributed to Canadian poet Rupi Kaur's bestselling debut, Milk and Honey

The number of print Poetry books sold in Canada in 2016 grew 79% over the previous year, the largest jump of any subject category in that timeframe. While this is largely due to the success of Canadian poet Rupi Kaur's debut collection, Milk and Honey, the subject has been seeing incremental gains over the last few years. In 2013, the number of print books sold in the Poetry category grew 5% over the previous year. In 2014, it grew by another 8%, and again in 2015 by 10%.

In 2016, the year Milk and Honey was published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, Poetry sales accounted for 0.37% of the entire print book market in Canada, which is up significantly from 0.20% in 2015. Similar to the unit increases for the category, this market share percentage has also been increasing over the last few years: 0.14% in 2012; 0.16% in 2013; and 0.18% in 2014.

Meanwhile, the other categories that saw significant gains in 2016 were Transportation (up 28%), Literary Collections (14%), Thrillers (9%), Comics & Graphic Novels (7%), and Cooking (6%).

In the overall English-language Canadian print book market, there were 50 million units sold at a value of $984 million, with Juvenile books accounting for 39% of the market, buoyed in large part by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — the number one bestselling book of 2016 — followed by Non-Fiction at 32% and Fiction at 27%.

These numbers are according to industry non-profit BookNet Canada's annual sales report The Canadian Book Market 2016. The report offers a comprehensive guide to sales trends in the print trade market with a detailed breakdown for over 50 subject categories. You can learn more and purchase a copy at

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BookNet Canada is a non-profit organization that develops technology, standards, and education to serve the Canadian book industry. Founded in 2002 to address systemic challenges in the industry, BookNet Canada supports publishing companies, booksellers, wholesalers, distributors, sales agents, and libraries across the country.

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