Juvenile & YA continue to dominate Canadian book markets: BookNet Canada

In 2018, Michelle Obama's Becoming was the top-selling print book with only seven weeks of sales. In 2019, with a full year of sales, it held on to the title of top-selling, English language print book in Canada for the second year in a row.

For the second year in a row, two out of every five print books sold in 2019 in both the English- and French-language markets in Canada were categorized as either Juvenile or Young Adult (YA), according to new research released by BookNet Canada. (

Non-Fiction and Fiction sales were also fairly similar between the English and French Canadian markets, accounting for 34-35% and 24-25%, respectively. This is also the same percentage breakdown as reported in 2018.

In 2019, the top-selling English-language Juvenile book was For Whom the Ball Rolls by Dav Pilkey. The French-language Juvenile & YA top-seller was Astérix. Volume 38. La fille de Vercingétorix by Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad.

While Juvenile books continue to dominate the print book market, as they have for the past few years, Non-Fiction books accounted for three the top five English-language books of the past year. In 2018, Michelle Obama's Becoming was the top-selling print book with only seven weeks of sales. In 2019, with a full year of sales, it held on to the title of top-selling, English language print book in Canada for the second year in a row.

The book with the second highest sales in 2019 was The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, followed by For Whom the Ball Rolls by Dav Pilkey, Educated by Tara Westover, and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. For the second year in a row, the top-selling title from a Canadian-owned publisher was Yum and Yummer by cookbook author Greta Podleski.

Meanwhile, other insights from the new report show that the Social Science category saw an 19% increase in unit sales between 2018 and 2019, largely due to sales of Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers. And, notably, in the Family & Relationships category, The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman has been the top-selling title for nine years running.

These and other insights into book sales and consumer buying habits are available in The Canadian Book Market 2019. BookNet Canada's tentpole publication reports on sales value, sales volume, and number of ISBNs with sales in 2019, as tracked by BNC SalesData, the national sales tracking service for the print English-language trade market in Canada. The report is a comprehensive guide to more than 30 subject categories, complete with year-over-year comparative data, market share for Canadian-owned publishers, the top selleing titles, price-point analysis, performance by publication date, and top-level data on consumer buying habits, including format distribution.

A sample of the report is available at booknetcanada.ca/canadian-book-market, along with links to purchase. You can also take a look at the infographic on the BookNet Canada Blog for total volume and value sold for the year. Coming up later in 2020, BookNet Canada will be releasing reports on how Canadians spend their leisure and reading time and information on the audiobook listening habits of Canadians, among other new research projects.

—BookNet Canada

—AB

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