Category: Industry

Book gifting on the decline, Self-Pub continues to rise

Consumer book sales fell 4% in volume and value in 2013, according to Nielsen Book’s Books & Consumers Annual Review, released Monday 28 July.

The decline came from consumer purchasing of books in print, with the number of ebooks purchased increasing from one in five to one in four of all books bought. But the lower prices of ebooks resulted in their contribution to only 14% of book sales by value.

Ebooks accounted for more than 40% of adult fiction purchases, one in eight of non-fiction purchases, and one in 10 of children’s book purchases.

Within adult fiction, ebooks enjoyed their highest market shares in the romance, crime, and fantasy categories. In non-fiction, the bestselling ebook genres were true crime, self-help and mind/body/spirit. In children’s, the ebook share varied from one in five of adventure, fantasy and relationship stories to less than 5% of non-fiction and younger children’s formats.

Books & Consumers also reported a rise in sales of self-published titles.

Jo Henry, International Consumer Research Director at Nielsen Book, said: “One concerning trend noted in the survey is the drop in books being bought as gifts. In the UK, the share of the book market taken by gift purchases reduced 2% points, from 24% to 22%; this equates to a decrease of some 9m books bought as gifts in 2013 compared to the previous year, a phenomenon that has also been noted in the US Books & Consumers survey.

“In view of the importance of the gift market to the book industry, Nielsen Book Research is proposing a further study to understand what is behind the apparent decrease in the value that consumers are placing on books as gifts and what might be done to counteract this.”

The story has received wide pick-up across the media, including the BBC, The Telegraph, Independent and The Bookseller.


Independent Booksellers Week Book Award 2013: Call for Submissions

Independent Booksellers Week this year takes place from 29th June to 6th July 2013 and the Booksellers Association is now calling for submissions for the IBW Book Award.  The Award is presented every year to two paperback titles which have been voted on by independent bookshops – one adult title and one children’s title.

Click here to download the Submission Form for the IBW Book Award, and publishers are able to submit as many of your titles as they would like.  There is no cost for submission though there is a charge for all titles once shortlisted)  To be eligible, titles have to be published in paperback between 1st January 2013 and 29th June 2013, and be available in paperback by the 29th June 2013.

The BA has said that judging for this year’s Award has been improved with two judging panels who will decide the winners, to be announced.  Independent booksellers will vote to create the shortlist of 10 adult and 12 children’s titles and then the two Judging Panels will select the winner for both categories.

Send TWO copies of each submitted title, together with a submission form for each title by 28th February to Sharon Benton, BA, 6 Bell Yard, London, WC2A 2JA.  For any queries, contact 020 7421 4640.



Search for the book trade’s up and coming talent

The Bookseller has begun its second annual search for its Rising Stars, a listing of the industry’s next generation of leaders and innovators.

The list, to be published in the 21st September issue of The Bookseller, will look at candidates from all areas of the trade including publishers, booksellers, supply chain, publishing technology companies and new digital entrants.

Tom Tivnan, The Bookseller features and supplements editor, who is leading the selection committee with deputy features and supplements editor Felicity Wood, said: “The Rising Stars is about up and comers, but we’re not necessarily talking just about an age-based list. It could be someone brand new to the trade with tonnes of experience outside of it, or even someone who has been in the trade for a long time who has shifted gears to a new, exciting role.”

He added: “Ultimately, what we’re looking for is people who have the vision, talent and creativity to lead the industry in what will certainly be a challenging future.”

The Rising Stars do get noticed. Of the 38 entries on the 2011 list, 16 were promoted or moved companies to take on greater responsibilities. In the last calendar year, for example, Random House’s Dan Franklin stepped up from digital editor to digital publisher; Rebecca Hart went from being the buyer for Foyles Royal Festival Hall and St Pancras locations to managing and opening up the bookseller’s high-profile shop in Westfield Stratford City; and Madeleine Milburn (née Buston) moved from being head of rights at Darley Anderson to setting up her own literary agency.

Anyone wishing to nominate a colleague or themselves or is seeking information about the Rising Stars, can contact Tom Tivnan ( or Felicity Wood ( by 5th September.



Gardners to support the Indiebound Christmas Books Catalogue

Gardners has announced it will support the Indiebound Christmas Books Catalogue this year and not produce its own consumer-facing catalogue, promoting Christmas Books titles to their customers throughout the Autumn with Sale or Return and discounted offers.

In a statement to customers Gardners said:  “After working closely with the Booksellers Association, customers and publishers to assess how best to support independent booksellers, we have decided not to produce a consumer facing Gardners Christmas catalogue for 2012, as we have in recent years. Instead we will be focusing on fully supporting the BA Christmas Books catalogue and IndieBound campaign.

This announcement comes after research showed that the BA’s Christmas Books catalogue was consistently rated higher by its users than catalogues used by other booksellers, particularly on customized services such as overprinting the front and back of the catalogue with shop details.

The deadline for publisher title submissions has been extended to Wednesday 11th July.  For further details please contact