NPD Bookscan, which tracks the US trade book business, weighed in this week with expectations for sales through the end of this year.

Kristen McLean, NPD Bookscan executive director, believes there is enough momentum heading into the holidays for the industry to finish 2021 with an overall sales rise between five and nine percent over 2020 – with the most likely scenario being a six to nine percent increase.

Book Sales To Stay Strong Despite Supply Chain

“That’s on top of a terrific 2020 in which sales were up 12%,” reports Andrew AlbanesePublishers Weekly senior writer.

“To put things in perspective, the industry has stuffed what might normally be a decade’s worth of growth into two years,” he says. “Sales of print books may have dipped compared to 2020 in the most recent quarter ending October 2, but sales for the first nine months of the year are still up 90 million units over 2019.”

In the fourth quarter of 2020, consumers started their holiday shopping early, McLean noted. Given continued reports of global supply chain problems, she is confident they will do so again this year, which should boost sales.

“Consumers usually spend more when they start early,” Albanese tells CCC.

Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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