Book sales in the UK are soaring. Over 212 million titles were sold in 2021, the highest in a decade. Neilson BookScan said the sales increase was primarily attributed to crime novels, sci-fi, fantasy, romance and personal development titles. Sales last year increased by 5%, compared to 2020. Print sales totaled £1.82 billion, which is the first time that this figure has been reached.
Fiction was up 20%, crime and thriller genre, increased by 19%, science fiction and fantasy rose by 23%, and 49% for romance. Chart-topping sales for Richard Osman’s first two novels drove crime’s strong performance: The Thursday Murder Club was the year’s bestselling title, while The Man Who Died Twice was the fourth bestselling title of the year. In non-fiction, the mind, body, spirit category saw the biggest growth, up by 50% to hit a lifetime high of £18.7m.
“Overall, the year’s bestsellers show book buyers seeking out comfort, laughter, escapism, familiarity and maybe a sense of community, given the continued impact of social media in bringing in new authors with existing platforms and creating conversations around new and old books,” said Nielsen’s Jackie Swope. “The start of 2022 is unfortunately looking a lot like 2021, with a new variant, a rush to vaccinate and widespread uncertainty. But one thing we can be certain about: books are most definitely not a pandemic fad and have proved their lasting power time and again.”
The top 10 books in the UK, in 2021.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.