BookNet Canada, the organization that compiles sales and other data about Canadian publishing, released data for book sales in 2020 earlier this week. Based on tracking sales for 843,785 unique ISBNs, BookNet said Canadians bought approximately 53,052,463 physical books in 2020, which were sold at a total value of C$1.1 billion ($890 million).
Children's books, including young adult titles, accounted for 41.2% of overall sales, followed by adult nonfiction, at 33.2% of sales and fiction, at 24.1%.
The top selling books in English-speaking Canada last year were all by Americans and from American-owned publishing houses. They were Grime and Punishment by Dav Pilkey (Graphix) and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic) in the children's category; A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Crown) and Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump (HarperCollins) in nonfiction; and American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (Flatiron) and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Putnam) in fiction.
Obama's A Promised Land was the bestselling book across all categories.
In French-speaking Quebec, children's books were also the largest category, accounting for 40% of the trade market. L'agent Jean! Saison 2. Volume 4. Défragmentation by Alex A (Presses Aventure) was the bestselling title.
The bestselling book by a Canadian-owned publisher was long-time bestseller, Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, published by Firefly.
The full report is available for purchase.