What Sizzled and What Got Chilly in Book Sales in 2014 – Print Book Selling Stats  

Nielsen’s BookScan monitors sales via retail outlets in print sales.bookscan1

The Self-Help category (15%) led the pack in non-fiction followed by Religion/Bibles and Biography/Autobiography/Memoir both posting unit increases of 12%. Non-fiction also out-performed fiction.  Graphic Novels (13%) led growth in Fiction categories—the only other category with growth in fiction was Western.

Past categories that have done fairly well in adult nonfiction, didn’t turn out to be a laughing matter. Humor had the largest decline, off 13%, followed by a 12% drop in Computer book sales and an 11% decline in the History/Law/Political Science segment.

Also interesting, while Religion did well in nonfiction, Religion fiction nose-dived in sales last year—sales down more than 15%.  Another category hitting the dumpster was the Occult/Psychological/Horror category, falling 26%. The Action/Adventure category declined 15%. Often a big seller in adult fiction, it wasn’t roses for Romance. It too hit a decline and fell 11%, followed by Suspense/Thrillers dropping 9% and the Mystery/Detective categories dipping 4%Article continues below.

The youngsters did well. The Juvenile segment performed much better overall than Adult. BookScan measures 16 categories—only three of them showed a decline. The big winner in 2014 was the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Magic category walked away as the big winner in 2014 (up 38%)—boasting honors included franchises of Frozen, Divergent and anything by Rick Riordan and James Dashner. Games/Activities/Hobbies were also hot with 33% unit rise-the star in this category was anything with Minecraft in the title along with Lego and the perennial sticker books.

Unit Sales by Category: 2013–2014 (in thousands)

 

2013

2014

% CHANGE

Adult NonFiction

Art/Architecture/Design/Photography

6,739

6,984

4%

Biography/Autobiography/Memoir

20,425

22,803

12%

Business/Economics

15,473

16,604

7%

Cooking/Entertaining

15,363

15,492

1%

Computers

5,311

4,652

-12%

Crafts/Hobbies/Antiques/Games

8,314

8,485

2%

Health/Fitness/Medicine/Sports

22,488

21,574

-4%

History/Law/Political Science

17,080

15,220

-11%

House & Home/Gardening

2,309

2,130

-8%

Humor

5,604

4,897

-13%

Performing Arts

7,358

7,706

5%

Reference

32,642

31,989

-2%

Religion/Bibles

32,012

35,798

12%

Self-Help

8,546

9,848

15%

Travel

7,658

7,417

-3%

General Nonfiction

29,509

28,533

-3%

Total Adult Nonfiction

236,833

240,130

1%

Adult Fiction

Action/Adventure

2,619

2,239

-15%

Classics

7,817

7,578

-3%

Fantasy

8,615

7,526

-13%

Graphic Novels

7,659

8,669

13%

Mystery/Detective

14,884

14,304

-4%

Occult/Psychological/Horror

4,474

3,329

-26%

Religion

4,925

4,174

-15%

Romance

34,585

30,885

-11%

Science Fiction

4,448

4,142

-7%

Suspense/Thrillers

22,161

20,111

-9%

Western

2,088

2,232

7%

General Fiction

36,314

33,524

-8%

Total Adult Fiction

150,590

138,712

-8%

Juvenile Nonfiction

Animals

3,891

4,625

19%

Biographies/Autobiographies

3,429

3,979

16%

Concepts

3,106

3,790

22%

Education/Reference/Language

6,556

6,496

-1%

Games/Activities/Hobbies

9,289

12,362

33%

History/Sports/People/Places

10,429

11,232

8%

Holidays/Festivals/Religion

3,108

3,895

25%

Social Situations/Family/Health

2,475

2,502

1%

Total Juvenile Nonfiction

42,283

48,882

16%

Juvenile Fiction

Animals

9,430

9,051

-4%

Classics

9,684

9,981

3%

Concepts

8,916

8,909

-0%

History/Sports/People/Places

13,686

14,107

3%

Holidays/Festivals/Religion

7,420

8,621

16%

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Magic

32,900

45,511

38%

Social Situations/Family/Health

23,777

27,815

17%

General Juvenile Fiction

51,895

52,690

2%

Total Juvenile Fiction

157,707

176,685

12%

bookscanSource:  BookScan 

 

 

 

Ashography Event PhotographyJudith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd a book publishing expert and coach. She is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord Indie/Fab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences.

Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Unplugged, a two and 1/2 day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2015, the dates are August 27-29th.  Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at http://tinyurl.com/AuthorURoadio. Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.

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Judith Briles

Judith Briles

Author U at Author U
Author U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Ongoing education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual AuthorU Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Become a GOLD member at AuthorU.org.
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Judith Briles

Judith Briles

Author U at Author U
Author U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Ongoing education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual AuthorU Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Become a GOLD member at AuthorU.org.
Judith Briles

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