A bird’s eye view on print book publishing market in India

–Vikrant Mathur, Director, Nielsen Book India


The print book sales in India during YTD* 2019 (till August 2019) pull even further ahead of YTD 2018. The market including academic and trade books has grown in YTD 2019 compared to YTD 2018. The “Total Consumer Market (TCM)” of print book market has grown +21.0% by volume and +22.0% by value. (Note: The growth rate is calculated on like for like basis and based on Nielsen BookScan India retail panel.) This article shares the current scenario as per data gathered by Nielsen BookScan India panel.

Fiction sales have increased in YTD 2019 compared to the same period last year and contributes 15% in the TCM. General & Literary Fiction sub-genre dominates the Fiction category followed by Crime, Thriller & Adventure and Historical & Mythological Fiction. The paperback titles rules the fiction market and contributes 88% of total fiction sales, whereas the hardback titles contributes 12% and it remained same as YTD 2018. The Indian originated local titles have featured in more numbers compared to foreign titles in YTD 2019; out of top ten titles eight titles were local.

Fiction Bestsellers
The Girl in Room 105 (Chetan Bhagat)
Raavan: Enemy of Aryavarta : Ram Chandra series (Amish Tripathi)
The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
The Great Gatsby ( F. Scott Fitzgerald)
Life Is What You Make It ( Preeti Shenoy)

Non-Fiction is the biggest sub-genre in TCM and it contains academic and non-fiction trade books. The non-fiction genre contributes 61% by value in TCM. The key sub-genres which are in YTD 2019 trend are Education & Teaching followed by Self Improvement and Popular Psychology. The non-fiction trade genre is a backlist driven market and see many titles in bestsellers which are classics, self-help and personality development. The seasonality plays an important role especially for examination related titles in the genre.

Non Fiction Bestsellers

Indian Polity for Civil Services Examination (M. Laxmikanth)
The 5 AM Club ( Robin Sharma)
Life’s Amazing Secrets: How to Find Balance and Purpose in Your Life
(Gaur Gopal Das)
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck ( Mark Manson)
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Yuval Noah Harari)

Children’s sales have increased compared to last year. Children genre is largely dominated by foreign authors and brands plays a very important role. Titles such as Harry Potter, Wimpy Kid, Geronimo Stilton, Peppa Pig etc. are popular among the children readers. Children genre contributes 20% in the TCM. Children Fiction is the largest sub-genre followed by Pre-school and Early Learning and Children Comic Strip and Graphic Novels.

Children Bestsellers

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown (Jeff Kinney)
My First Library ( Don Freeman, Peggy Rathmann, and Watty Piper)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)
My First Book of Patterns Pencil Control (Wonder House Books Editorial)
Peppa Pig: Little Library (Ladybird)

*YTD means sales data during Jan-August period.

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