‘India Print Book Market showed mix reactions’

shares Vikrant Mathur, Director, Nielsen Book Research, India. Nielsen BookScan has measured volume sales of 29.7m units and value sales of INR 10.2bn in TCM (incl. academic market) during CY2020.


Glimpse of TCM (including academic market)

Consumers bought all kinds of books to get them through 2020, whether those books entertained with stories, helped with school or work, facilitated new hobbies, improved the self, distracted with activities, simply comforted with words. The India Total Consumer Market (TCM) of print book sales is up 5.8% by value and down 3.8% by volume, comparing CY2020 Vs CY2019. The TCM market in BookScan has tracked volume sales of 29.7m and value sales of INR 10.25b.The Average Selling Price (ASP) in the TCM has increased by 10% comparing CY2020 vs CY2019. The ASP in CY2020 was INR 345 whereas it was INR 314 in CY2019.

Trade Market (Excluding academic market)

Nielsen BookScan has measured a volume sales of 20.9m and value sales of INR 6.8b in CY2020.The trade market has registered value growth by 1.2%, whereas the volume is down by 6.2% when compared to CY2020 Vs CY2019.The ASP has seen a growth of 8% in CY2020 Vs CY2019.The ASP in CY2020 was INR 324, whereas it was INR 300 in CY2019.

Adult Fiction: The fiction market is hardest hit compared to other genres in the trade market. Nielsen BookScan has tracked 4.1m by volume and INR 1.17b by value. It has gone down 16.4% by volume and 9.6% by value comparing CY2020 Vs CY2019. In CY2020, the Fiction genre has contributed 20% by volume and 17% by value in the total trade market. The contribution compared to CY2019 has decreased 2% by volume and value. The frontlists (FL) released CY2020 has contributed 9% in the total fiction market compared to 15% in CY2019. The bestselling FL title in CY2020 was “One Arranged Murder,” which has sold more than 121,000 copies worth INR 19.2m whereas the bestselling title in Fiction category is “Alchemist” sold more than 123,000 copies worth INR 28.1m. The largest sub-genre in the Fiction genre during CY2020 was General & Literary Fiction contributing 52% by value in the total fiction market followed by Crime, Thriller & Adventure and Historical & Mythological Fiction.

Adult Non-Fiction Trade continues to be the biggest genre in the Trade market. It contributed 54% by the volume and 57% by value in the total trade market. The contribution has increased 3% both by volume and value. Nielsen BookScan has measured 11.2m by volume and INR 3.88b by value. The Adult Non-fiction trade market is flat by volume and just dipped 0.6% but up across value by 6% compared to CY2020 Vs CY2019. The ASP’s in trade non-fiction is highest compared to other genres and seen a growth of 6% comparing CY2020 Vs CY2019. The ASP in CY2020 was INR 344 whereas it was INR 324 in CY2019. The FL titles didn’t create any major impact in CY2020 and contributed 10% by value which is 13% less than CY2019.The bestselling FL title CY2020 was “Think Like a Monk” which has sold more than 123K copies worth INR 44.5m whereas the bestselling Non-fiction title in CY2020 was “Ikigai” sold more than 201K copies worth 75.04m. The top three sub-genre are Self Improvement: General, Popular Psychology and Mind, Body & Spirit: General.

Children, Young Adult market has shown similar trends like other genres and was down 7.6% by volume but grew 2.7% by value compared to CY2020 Vs CY2019. Nielsen BookScan has tracked 4.7m by volume and INR1.48b by value. The ASP has grown maximum in the children genre during CY2020 among other genres. The ASP in CY2020 was INR 315 whereas it was INR 283 in CY2019, a growth of 11.2%. Spending has increased in the five largest categories, Children’s Fiction, Pre-School & Early Learning, Novelty & Activity Books, Young Adult Fiction and Picture Books. The Pre-School and Novelty & Activity Books sub-genres have seen increased both by volume and value sales. The frontlist titles released during CY2020 contributed negligibly in the Children’s market. The best FL title in CY2020 was “Diary Of Wimpy Kid: The Deep End” and it has sold 17,000 copies worth INR 7.4m.

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