Australian Book Sales Plateau After Record Year in 2022

Nielsen BookScan reports a 3% decline in the Australian book market in the current year compared to last year.


Post-Covid Boom Showing Signs of Subsiding

According to Nielsen BookScan, Australian book sales have plateaued after a record year in 2022. In the current year, revenue in the Australian book market has declined by 3% compared to the same period last year. However, this decline may be an overcorrection as readers return to their normal reading habits following significant year-on-year growth since the pandemic began.

The general manager of Nielsen BookData Australia, Bianca Whiteley, stated that although 2023 shows a modest adjustment, book sales remain notably elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels. This highlights the enduring popularity of books as a source of joy and inspiration, particularly in challenging economic conditions.

Christmas Book Sales Surge

In the four weeks leading up to Christmas, book sales typically experience a surge of 100%. Last week alone, people purchased 143,113 different book titles. The fifth volume of Alice Oseman's graphic novel, Heartstopper, became the number one Christmas bestseller, ending the three-year streak of Australian authors occupying that spot.

In the UK, Heartstopper Volume 5 sold 60,012 copies in its first three days of release, making it the fastest-selling graphic novel ever in the country and the overall bestselling book of the week across all categories. In Australia, it sold 12,300 copies last week, bringing the total copies sold in the series to nearly 390,000 since 2019.

Top Sellers in Australia

Apart from Heartstopper, other top sellers in Australia include Trent Dalton's third novel, Lola in the Mirror, which sold 9,780 copies, and the 28th instalment of the Jack Reacher crime thriller series, The Secret. Jack Reacher has become a franchise since Lee Child retired and passed the pen to his brother, Andrew Grant, who now writes under the pseudonym Andrew Child.

Nagi Maehashi's Australian cookbook, RecipeTin Eats: Dinner, which was the bestseller of the previous year and won the 2022 Australian Book Industry Awards, continues to sell thousands of copies more than a year after its release. It claimed the fourth spot among bestsellers.