According to NPD BookScan’s annual report, adult print book sales grew by nine percent in 2021, compared with 2020. NPD BookScan is regarded as the gold standard for POS tracking in publishing. Covering approximately eight-five percent of trade print books, The NPD Group tracks information regarding physical and digital books sales in the United States through direct reporting from retailers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Kristen McLean of NPR Books shares that annual print books volume in the United States reached 825.7 million units in 2021, making it “the highest ever seen in NPD BookScan.” This was the first time since tracking started in 2004 that the annual volume excelled 800 million units.
“Adult fiction experienced the highest absolute unit gains of any super-category for the year, and contributed to more than half of total market gains, with 174 million units sold, 35 million more units than were sold in 2020.” McLean writes.
In addition to adult fiction, adult nonfiction also grew in sale units by 14 million last year and 323 million in unit sales. Other noteworthy top growth categories were graphic novels, general fiction, religion, business and romance.