As the Q4 dust settles, we gather our breath and set our sights on planning how to make the next year a success. A well-known cliché wisely tells us that you cannot possibly predict where you are going until you first look at where you have been; we think a great place to start this process is by reviewing the overall industry data the publishing world shares every January. As a whole, the landscape showed moderately positive results in 2017. Collectively it experienced a unit sales increase across several categories. Adult nonfiction recognized a moderate 3% increase and juvenile nonfiction tracked slightly behind at a 2% AGR. However, no category experienced the same level of growth as juvenile fiction at 8% overall, doubling last year’s 4% increase. To see how your organization performed against the industry, the complete category and subcategory unit sales details can be found at PublishersWeekly.com.
At Book Depot, these industry numbers are one of several key data points we use to measure ourselves. Along with that information, we track our year-over-year sales growth by both the format and category of the book when performing our analysis. In looking at our format breakdown, it was evident that we experienced an extremely strong 2017 across each of our four formats (hardcover, trade paper, mass market, and board books). Each recognized double-digit percentage growth, with the largest increase of 102% in mass market. The growth in mass market is proportional to the small percentage the format represents of overall Book Depot sales.
The growth by category told us another piece of the overall story. Our largest category for growth, juvenile fiction, mirrored that of the publishing industry with an annual increase of over 46% compared to 2016. However, in 2017, we were down in both adult fiction and nonfiction by -5.8% and -10.8%, respectively.
We are energized by Book Depot’s continued year-over-year growth and strive every year to do better than the last. We do recognize the fact that our success is directly correlated to the number of strong relationships we have with the world’s leading publishers and book retailers, and we pride ourselves in being able to say that “the largest selection pays.” Our promise to our partners is to continue procuring the best books the industry has to offer and wholesaling them for the best prices you can find!
We look forward to 2018 and pledge to do our very best to ensure we all experience a successful year!