The mix of formats sold in the Canadian book market differed only slightly from previous years, according to a recent survey and resulting data released today by BookNet Canada, the national sales tracking service.
In 2019, hardcover sales accounted for 24% of unit sales, down from 25.9% in 2018; audiobooks rose to 5% of purchases for the year, up from 3.6% in 2018. BookNet noted that 26% of audiobooks were acquired via a subscription service and were not tracked; accordingly, audiobooks may represent a higher percentage of overall book consumption. Paperbacks remained the most popular format, representing 49% of the market, while e-books' market share remained steady at 17%.
In addition, the survey looked at where books were bought and found online channels (including websites, e-book/audio downloads, and mobile apps) represented for 51% of book purchases in 2019, down from 52.5% in 2018. Bricks-and-mortar channels including chain stores, indies, general retailers, discount stores, book clubs, and grocery, accounted for 49% of purchases, up from 47%.
Finally, fiction sales dominated the market, accounting for 52% of sales, a further 35% were nonfiction, and the final 13% were for children's and young adult books
A full report documenting overall sales and trends for 2019 will be released later this quarter.