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Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tech Forum Online. My name is Noah
Genner, and I'm the CEO of BookNet Canada, and you're watching a
presentation on the Canadian English language trade book market in 2022.
Before we begin, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the Indigenous
peoples of all the lands that I'm broadcasting from today, an acknowledgement
that is deeply personal due to this virtual platform and the wide range of
locations people are joining from. Today I'm broadcasting from traditional
territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the
Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, the Chippewa, and the Wendat peoples, and
is also now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. We
also know that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13, with the Mississaugas of the
Credit. I encourage you to visit the native-land.ca website to learn more about
the people whose land we are joining from today.
And with that, I'd like to get started.
Our very first number that I'm going to share today in a presentation that you're
going to see a lot of stats from is a top-line number from our leisure and reading
study that was just completed, and it is that 8 out of 10 adult English-speaking
Canadians read or listened to a book in 2022. I'm going to come back to this
number a little bit later to put it in context.
So, I'm titling this presentation, A Return to the New Normal. Perhaps there
should be a question mark at the end of that. But it looks like what we're seeing
from the data is that we've returned to kind of a pre-pandemic level, so let's start
with some salient data numbers to prove that point. So, what you're seeing here
is a graph representing weekly sales for the last four years in SalesData. The
purple line is 2022, the blue line is 2019, orange is 2020, and the green is 2021.
You can see at the start of the pandemic in 2020, in the orange line, and also
some more shutdowns we had in the spring of 2021, in the green line. The
numbers aren't exactly the same, but the trend is definitely that 2022 was very
much like 2019 in the velocity or shape of sales, until we get to the fourth
quarter, or the last 13 weeks just before Christmas, when things were a little bit
different between 2022 and 2019.
So just to focus in on those last 13 weeks or so, I've got another graph here
showing those 13 weeks. So, the weeks don't always line up exactly between
the years, but they're generally pretty close, and what we can see here is that in
2022, we just didn't see that huge peak in sales right before Christmas like we
saw in 2019. That's maybe because of a lot of factors. It may be that people
were just shopping, or just shopping earlier now than they were previously,
previous to the pandemic, but also there was some really bad weather in much
of Canada, particularly in Ontario and BC right before Christmas of 2022, and
that might have affected people's shopping as well.
I can say a little bit in that there were sales, more sales in 2022 after Christmas
than there has been in other years recently, and that may be a result of the bad
weather keeping people out of stores previous to Christmas. Anyway,
something we'll watch to see if behaviour is changing. Overall in the fourth
quarter of 2022, sales were down 6% when we compared to 2019, but pretty
equal to 2021. So, this is something we can watch going forward.
When we look at the whole year and compare them, the purple line at the top is
2022. We can see that 2022 is very similar, less than 1% different to the line in
2021. It was up 4% over the pandemic year of 2020, and up 1% over 2019, or
pretty much flat to 2019. Just looking at this a little bit differently, when we
compare year-over-year change, we see that the purple bar, which is 2022, was
down 46% from 2021, 2021 was up 4.8% over 2020, 2020 was down 3.1% over
2019, and 2019 and 2018 were very similar. Again, back to kind of a new
normalcy.
Looking at subject areas, these are the top-level BISAC subject categories that
we use in SalesData. Juvenile plus YA are about 40% of the market, Fiction is
26%, and Non-Fiction is 32%. This has not changed, at least at this level, very
much in the last few years at all. But when we dive in and look at individual
subject areas there can be a lot more change over the year. So the blue line here
is 2022, and the kind of orange-yellow line is 2021, and what we can see here is
the huge growth in Romance, Fiction Romance, and in Manga, about halfway
down on the left there in year over year. So while the top-level subject
categories overall didn't change a lot, the individual discrete subject categories
kind of changed quite a bit. And we'll come back to this in a minute.
Interestingly, 2022 over 2021, Fiction was up 9% year-over-year in unit sales,
Non-Fiction was down 4%, and Juvenile was down 4%, with YA being up 8%.
Again, I'm going to come back to this in a minute.
Looking at the U.S. for a minute just in comparison, they too were up 9% in
Fiction year-over-year. The U.S. is on the left side here. Overall, the market in
the U.S. was down around 7% year-over-year, quite different to Canada, which
was flat. But they had a huge, the U.S. had a very good year in 2021, so some
of that just might be going back to a new normalcy. But very similar between
Canada and the U.S. in the top-level subject categories year-over-year. Just as a
point of reference, the book market in the UK, in the United Kingdom was
down 2.2% year-over-year as well.
So, now we'll look at some individual subjects. The first subject area I'd like to
look at is Romance. As we've already mentioned, it was one of the largest
growing subjects year-over-year, and as you can see from this slide here,
Romance as a subject category saw a unit growth of 55% year-over-year when
comparing 2022 to 2021. And according to new data from our Canadian
Leisure & Reading study, in 2022, 28% of ebook and print readers, and 33% of
audiobook listeners read Romance books. In fact, audiobook listeners of
Romance subjects increased by 154% from 2021 to 2022.
What's also interesting is that this huge growth between 2021 and 2022 actually
reverses a trend we saw off this graph, but from 27% in 2019 of Romance sales
actually went downwards. So, we've bounced back a lot from that point. Even
within this Romance subject category, there are tertiary Romance categories, or
subcategories, that saw huge growth, and so those are LGBTQ+, Workplace
Romances, and African American and Black Romances.
You can't talk about romance in 2022 without talking about Colleen Hoover,
whose titles dominated week after week through much of the year. Five of the
top ten bestselling titles in all categories in 2022 were by Colleen Hoover.
Aside from Colleen Hoover, other authors who joined into the Romance
renaissance are Ali Hazelwood, Emily Henry, and Carley Fortune.
When looking at the bestselling Fiction books for 2022, and Canadian Fiction
books, again Colleen Hoover dominated the Fiction list this year, the overall
Fiction list. She occupied half the list when it came to the end of the year. Some
of her titles, like "It Ends with Us" are repeats, and "Where the Crawdads Sing"
by Delia Owens was here all the way from 2019. Unlike 2021 and 2020, which
saw a majority of frontlist titles, this year, 70% of the featured list was made up
of backlist titles, those titles older than a year. While Louise Penny is still a
dominant force in Canadian fiction books, with two books on the list, Michelle
Good takes the number one position with "Five Little Indians." Although a
similar trend to what we saw last year, the majority of these titles are frontlist,
70% were published in 2022.
Looking at Non-Fiction for a second, and yes, in the BISAC world Comics &
Graphic Novels, at least the adult Comics & Graphic Novels are in the Non-
Fiction category, this continues a trend we've seen for the last few years, but
Comics & Graphic Novels were the bestselling adult Non-Fiction category, and
saw a 39% growth year-over-year. I've also shown the Juvenile and the YA
Comics & Graphic Novels categories here. Juvenile didn't see a huge growth
this year, but the YA numbers were up almost 202% year-over-year. And
within the comics and graphics area, it was really Manga that saw the huge
growth year-over-year.
Looking at some other Non-Fiction bestsellers, in the Non-Fiction category, the
majority of backlist titles again, only 40% were published in 2022. This list
contains mainly of Psychology and Self-Help titles, with a few celebrity
biographies thrown in the mix. "21 Things You May Not Know About the
Indian Act" by Bob Joseph is the only book that stayed on the Canadian list
compared to last year. Although we don't have a lot of repeat titles, we do have
some repeat authors. Jordan Peterson, Bob Joseph, Mandy Wolfe, Rebecca
Wolfe, and Meredith Erickson in collaboration made a reappearance on the
Canadian Non-Fiction list this year.
Looking at kids books, Juvenile books, Activity books were up 28%, Curiosity
& Wonder books were up 34%, Transportation was up 19%, and Comics &
Graphic Novels, while not here, went up a fair amount as well. Young Adult
trends, coming-of-age titles were up 101% year-over-year, dominated by the
Alice Oseman titles, "Heartstopper" titles. Social Themes were up 69% earlier,
Mysteries & Detectives were up 66%, Thrillers were up 50%, and just off the
list, off the slide was LGBTQ+, up 20%. Perhaps another theme in YA titles is
that the titles need to be in cursive.
And looking at the bestsellers for Juvenile and YA, 60% of backlist titles again,
only 4 other titles were published in 2022, and Young Adult books were in the
majority, with Juvenile titles making up 40% of the list. Unlike last year, two
frontlist books made the list, "Leaves!" by Robert Munsch and Michael
Martchenko, and “Sharon, Lois & Bram's Skinnamarink" by Sharon Hampson,
Lois Lilienstein, Bram Morrison, and Win Leng were the only books published
in 2022 to make the list. Like previous years, it's no surprise that Robert
Munsch's "Love You Forever" maintains its number one spot on the Canadian
Juvenile and Young Adult list. It has been number one on this list since 2019.
In fact, all three editions, the paperback, the board book, and the hardcover
made it onto the list. Unlike the overall Juvenile and Young Adult list, the
Canadian list had Young Adult books in the minority with only two YA titles
occupying the list.
As you've heard me say to these lists, backlist has been a huge factor in book
sales this year. So looking at that specifically, what we have here is the backlist
versus frontlist breakdown over the last four years. So 2022, 67% of all books
sold from our retailers were backlist titles, and within those, titles that are older
than a year. This continues a trend that we've seen even before 2019, but we've
really seen it accelerate in the last few years.
So, what's driving this growth in backlist? Well, part of it for sure has been
driven by BookTok. In our research, we track the influence of social media
platforms on Canadian book consumers through our consumer studies. So far,
in collecting data for the 2022 edition of our Canadian Book Consumer Survey,
we found that 21% of all Canadian book buyers are on TikTok. That's up from
17% in 2021. The number of books purchased by Canadians because of a
recommendation or review by TikTok has also increased, at 17% so far.
Without a doubt, Canadian book buyers are buying backlist titles that trend on
BookTok.
The graph on the slide here shows the aggregated sales of each of 20 titles that
were on BookTok month by month from July 2019 to June 2022. Over this time
period, sales for these trending BookTok titles increased exponentially, up over
1,000% overall. From the lowest number of sales in September 2019, to the
highest number of sales in December 2020, that's an increase of over 2,000%.
As an example of some of the growth in titles of backlist titles, "Cain's
Jawbone" by Edward Mathers was up 235,000% from October 2019 to June
2022. Back to Colleen Hoover again, "It Ends with Us" was up 42,000%
between November 2019 and June 2022, and "Shadow and Bone" by Leigh
Bardugo, also a Netflix show, was up over 6,000% from September of 2019 to
May of 2021. So, BookTok is a trend that is contributing to sales and backlist
sales in the Canadian market.
If you're interested in more trend information, I urge you to view BookNet's
recent presentation on trends in the Canadian book market that's available on
our YouTube channel.
One last thing from SalesData I wanted to share before moving on was a
breakdown of sales of books by Canadian contributors, so that is books that
were authored, illustrated, translated or edited by a Canadian. So, around 11%
of all books sold in the SalesData market in 2022 were by a Canadian
contributor, and this is roughly the same as 2021. This universe is about, in
SalesData is about 180,000 ISBNs. If you're interested in any more information
about the Canadian market in 2022, Canadian contributor sales or subject sales,
I urge you to pick up a copy of our "Canadian Book Market" annual, which is
available now from our website, booknetcanada.ca.
Now pivoting slightly to our LibraryData overview for 2022, so similar to
SalesData, our LibraryData system collects circulation information from close
to 200 libraries across Canada on a weekly basis. We don't have data going
back as far in LibraryData as we do in SalesData, as it just started in 2020, but
what you see on the screen is a monthly breakdown of loans from the libraries
that have contributed data to us for the last three years, with the purple year
being 2022...purple line being 2022. Once again, you see a huge drop-off in the
spring of 2020 in public library loans, with the onset of the pandemic. You
should look a little more at the shape of these lines than their virtual positions,
but what you can see from the shape of the lines is that we seem to be, again,
coming back to a new normal, as we see the 2021 and 2022 lines look very
similar.
What I'm showing here is the subject breakdown for the library loans in 2022.
Down in the lower left corner, you can see the subject loans for the sales data
for the Canadian market as a comparison. What we can see here is that the
library market was very dominated by the Juvenile checkouts and loans. While
LibraryData only includes data on physical items at this point, we do ask about
formats checked out in our consumer survey from libraries, and that's what
you're seeing here. This is what borrowers told us they checked out of the
library. There are big increases in digital formats in 2020, the pandemic year,
and you can see that in the orange bar, and then decreases over the years in
digital lending since, but we're still not all the way back to pre-pandemic levels.
For more information on library borrowing, I encourage you to check out our
blog at booknetcanada.ca, as we have a series there on book borrowing.
And now I'd like to move on to some of our reading and consumer book buying
trends, both readers and buyers from our surveys of adult English-speaking
Canadians done in 2022. Let's go back to that reading data we shared at the start
of the presentation.
So once again in 2022, the pink bar, 8 in 10 adult English-speaking Canadians
told us they read a book in 2022. Most readers read or listened to 1 to 5 books
in 2022, 50% of our respondents, while 28% read or listened to 11 books, 16%
read 12-49 books, and the really busy readers reading 50 or more were 6% of
our respondents. Just to put that 78% in context, Australia ran a very similar
reader survey to ours in 2021, and they had 75% of adult Australians reading or
listening to a book, so very similar numbers.
So, what did those 8 in 10 Canadians read? Well, we asked them about the
books they read last year, and out of our 1,000 readers, 24% said they could
identify reading a book about Canadians or locals, 14% about Black,
Indigenous, or people of colour, 8% about LGBTQIA+, 12% about people with
immigrant status, and 10% about disabled people. The BIPOC numbers are
down lower in 2022 because they rose so much in 2021 because of what was
going on in the marketplace then. So definitely, this is on a monthly
basis...sorry, this is on a yearly basis.
When we moved to our consumer panel a little bit and asked about what they
bought, or what they bought on a monthly basis, over the year we created about
11,000 adult Canadians on the following book acquisition activities. 16% of our
respondents said they bought a new book every month, 11% bought a used
book, 7% bought an ebook, and 3% bought an audiobook. There's not a lot of
change here year-over-year, but digital went up during 2021...or sorry, 2020
and 2021, but it's come down a little bit in 2022, again back to the new normal.
We also asked about monthly borrowing. It's similar to purchasing. 40% of our
respondents said they borrowed a print book, 6% said they borrowed an ebook,
and 4% said they borrowed an audiobook. Again, a decrease in digital from
2020, but overall not a lot of change. And we also asked about free acquisitions.
So, 9% said they'd received a book for gift, 7% said they'd downloaded an
ebook for free, and 5% said they'd streamed an audiobook for free.
More people acquired digital formats for free than borrowing or purchasing,
and it's not just piracy, there are other ways to get free books. But, how much
do the people who are buying books pay per month? It might be a little hard to
tell, but it looks like book buyers have less to spend. What we're showing here
is three years, with 2022 at the bottom. Well, at least they're spending less per
month on books. You can see here that the large bar, the large spending bar,
which is the orange bar, was 48%, 48% of people spent a $100 or more on
books in 2020. That's dropped all the way down to 13%, with the biggest bar
being the $1 to $49 spenders has risen to 64%. So, this decrease in spending is
something we've also seen in the Leisure & Reading survey. It isn't a massive
change, but it's definitely gone down in 2022 from 2020. We'll come back to
this to have a look at what it might be.
So the people that are buying books, what are they spending their money on?
Well, when we look at formats, here's the format breakdown for the last four
years. Looking closer at sales performance by format, paper book purchases
have stayed relatively stable, hovering around 40% to 50% from 2019 to 2022.
Hardcovers has stayed between 20% and 30%, and ebooks have fluctuated
around 20% until the last quarter of 2022, where they dropped to 10% of
purchases. This pulled the overall number for 2022 down for ebooks to 17%.
Audiobooks have been the most consistent, staying around 5% from 2019 to
2022. Year-over-year, the sales of most formats in 2022 have either exceeded or
returned to the volume sales in pre-pandemic years. All told, 73% of books
purchased by Canadian book buyers in 2022 were print books, 17% were
ebooks, and 6% were audiobooks.
Now let's have a look at where they bought those books. So going on to where
people bought their books, and breaking it down by the top-level channels, we
can see that, this is from our consumer panel, then we've seen a decrease in
2022 of online purchasing. This isn't a big surprise post-pandemic, because the
stores have opened up again. During the pandemic we saw a huge rise in online
purchasing, and now we've seen it go back almost to pre-pandemic levels, again
back to a new normal.
The other interesting thing to call out here is the large growth in mobile sales.
So, we would have expected in the pandemic for sales on mobile devices to
increase, which we did see, but we have continued to see an increase, which is
surprising, up to 10% of purchases in 2022. If we just look at print sales, just
print physical books, and where they were purchased, we can see the bounce
back here again of the physical book channels, the red line. It really fell off
during the pandemic years, but has come back again in 2022. Related to this,
37% of our respondents said that COVID was impacting their book buying in
2022, but that's down from half of all respondents in 2020 and 2021. So, big
changes, and back to the new normal.
So then we went on to ask, well, the books that you did buy, how did you find
out about them? So, how is awareness created that resulted in purchasing? Well,
as in past years, the top three ways Canadian book buyers became aware of the
books they bought were by reading other books by the author or the illustrator,
22% of Canadian book buyers said that, browsing or searching online or in
person for the book, 20% of Canadian book buyers said that, reading a
recommendation or review, 18% of Canadian book buyers said that. Social
media was next on the list, just off the slide, and in the social media area,
TikTok which I've mentioned before through BookTok, Reddit and Discord
were the big gainers, and YouTube has almost caught up to Facebook in 2022.
When we just look at searching and browsing in detail, what we're seeing here
is the year-over-year change from 2019 to 2022 in different searching and
browsing methods. So, in-store browsing was down 9% between 2019 and
2022, online ecommerce browsing was up 1%, searching online was up 13%,
and social media was up 4%. Unsurprisingly, online browsing saw a huge
increase in 2022, and that continued into 2021. In-store browsing didn't really
see a bounce back to 2019 levels in 2022, but it was definitely up.
So, what were those buyers searching for when they were searching? Those
buyers were searching for books with diversity of perspectives, as well as
Canadian perspectives. In 2022, Canadian book buyers searched for books by
Canadian contributors 34% of the time, about Canada or regions within Canada
28%, about a group or culture written by people from that group or culture
23%, about Indigenous people 13%, by Indigenous contributors 12%. Buyers
searching for books by or about Indigenous people doubled from 2021 to 2022.
So in summary, here are some of the macro trends we saw in 2022, and we
expect to continue into 2023. As has been mentioned throughout the
presentation, we saw a noticeable bounce back in physical store shopping.
Online is still up when we look at 2018 and 2019, and some of the pandemic
growth has subsided in online, similar to other markets and channels. Out of all
the book buyers we surveyed in the Canadian Book Consumer Survey last year,
64% said they visited a bookstore in person, up from 55% in 2020, and 54% in
2021. We can expect that this will continue into 2023 as well. We are seeing
again a kind of a boom in book retailing, as we're seeing new stores open, and
existing stores from other verticals start to sell some books. So, that's an
interesting trend we'll continue to watch.
Another trend that we're watching, that I mentioned earlier, which is growth in
mobile. This is something we've been watching for the last 10 years or longer,
but in 2022 we really saw mobile jump out not just in buying, but also in
reading, and in browsing and searching. They all have continued to grow on
mobile.
Another trend we expect to continue, as long as TikTok isn't banned, is
BookTok. As has been mentioned, it's a huge driver of book sales, and a very
strong driver of backlist buying, and a driver of overall reading. It's also
interesting that it is really appealing to younger readers, and bringing people
that may not be buying books or reading into the world of reading. So, that's
something to watch as well.
Last but not least, the biggest trend we'll be watching, and we mentioned that it
started to impact sales in 2022, or we see it did, is the economy, or the
uncertainty around the economy and its impact on Canadian book buying. This
is something that's not just in book buying, but what we're seeing across all
kinds of different consumer categories, the trend of people spending a little less
on their leisure activities because of an uncertainty around inflation, and its
impact on their pocketbooks, and on the publishing industry and production in
general.
So, these are four macro trends we're watching over the next year.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to point out that we will have "Canadian
Book Market" annual, which is out now, which I've mentioned already. And
coming up very shortly, we'll have the Canadian Book Consumer Report and
the Leisure & Reading Study for 2022. Both of these will be available, all of
these will be available on our website. Also, at the bottom there you can see
some of the original research that we released in 2022, also available from our
website.
Also, as this is a Tech Forum website, a Tech Forum presentation, I'd like to
mention that there are other Tech Forum presentations coming out in April on
our updates to our products and services, and a presentation that was just held
earlier this month, Applying content marketing hacks from Tech to Publishing.
Those are all available from our new Tech Forum website. Check it out. Or
from our YouTube channel, please check it out there.
Thanks very much, everyone. Please feel free to reach out to me directly at
ngenner@booknetcanada.ca. Sign up for our newsletter or podcast for more
original research. Thanks very much, and have a great day.

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Transcript: Book industry state of the nation 2023 - Tech Forum 2023

  • 1. Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tech Forum Online. My name is Noah Genner, and I'm the CEO of BookNet Canada, and you're watching a presentation on the Canadian English language trade book market in 2022. Before we begin, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the Indigenous peoples of all the lands that I'm broadcasting from today, an acknowledgement that is deeply personal due to this virtual platform and the wide range of locations people are joining from. Today I'm broadcasting from traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, the Chippewa, and the Wendat peoples, and is also now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. We also know that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13, with the Mississaugas of the Credit. I encourage you to visit the native-land.ca website to learn more about the people whose land we are joining from today. And with that, I'd like to get started. Our very first number that I'm going to share today in a presentation that you're going to see a lot of stats from is a top-line number from our leisure and reading study that was just completed, and it is that 8 out of 10 adult English-speaking Canadians read or listened to a book in 2022. I'm going to come back to this number a little bit later to put it in context. So, I'm titling this presentation, A Return to the New Normal. Perhaps there should be a question mark at the end of that. But it looks like what we're seeing from the data is that we've returned to kind of a pre-pandemic level, so let's start with some salient data numbers to prove that point. So, what you're seeing here is a graph representing weekly sales for the last four years in SalesData. The purple line is 2022, the blue line is 2019, orange is 2020, and the green is 2021. You can see at the start of the pandemic in 2020, in the orange line, and also some more shutdowns we had in the spring of 2021, in the green line. The numbers aren't exactly the same, but the trend is definitely that 2022 was very much like 2019 in the velocity or shape of sales, until we get to the fourth quarter, or the last 13 weeks just before Christmas, when things were a little bit different between 2022 and 2019. So just to focus in on those last 13 weeks or so, I've got another graph here showing those 13 weeks. So, the weeks don't always line up exactly between the years, but they're generally pretty close, and what we can see here is that in 2022, we just didn't see that huge peak in sales right before Christmas like we
  • 2. saw in 2019. That's maybe because of a lot of factors. It may be that people were just shopping, or just shopping earlier now than they were previously, previous to the pandemic, but also there was some really bad weather in much of Canada, particularly in Ontario and BC right before Christmas of 2022, and that might have affected people's shopping as well. I can say a little bit in that there were sales, more sales in 2022 after Christmas than there has been in other years recently, and that may be a result of the bad weather keeping people out of stores previous to Christmas. Anyway, something we'll watch to see if behaviour is changing. Overall in the fourth quarter of 2022, sales were down 6% when we compared to 2019, but pretty equal to 2021. So, this is something we can watch going forward. When we look at the whole year and compare them, the purple line at the top is 2022. We can see that 2022 is very similar, less than 1% different to the line in 2021. It was up 4% over the pandemic year of 2020, and up 1% over 2019, or pretty much flat to 2019. Just looking at this a little bit differently, when we compare year-over-year change, we see that the purple bar, which is 2022, was down 46% from 2021, 2021 was up 4.8% over 2020, 2020 was down 3.1% over 2019, and 2019 and 2018 were very similar. Again, back to kind of a new normalcy. Looking at subject areas, these are the top-level BISAC subject categories that we use in SalesData. Juvenile plus YA are about 40% of the market, Fiction is 26%, and Non-Fiction is 32%. This has not changed, at least at this level, very much in the last few years at all. But when we dive in and look at individual subject areas there can be a lot more change over the year. So the blue line here is 2022, and the kind of orange-yellow line is 2021, and what we can see here is the huge growth in Romance, Fiction Romance, and in Manga, about halfway down on the left there in year over year. So while the top-level subject categories overall didn't change a lot, the individual discrete subject categories kind of changed quite a bit. And we'll come back to this in a minute. Interestingly, 2022 over 2021, Fiction was up 9% year-over-year in unit sales, Non-Fiction was down 4%, and Juvenile was down 4%, with YA being up 8%. Again, I'm going to come back to this in a minute. Looking at the U.S. for a minute just in comparison, they too were up 9% in Fiction year-over-year. The U.S. is on the left side here. Overall, the market in the U.S. was down around 7% year-over-year, quite different to Canada, which was flat. But they had a huge, the U.S. had a very good year in 2021, so some
  • 3. of that just might be going back to a new normalcy. But very similar between Canada and the U.S. in the top-level subject categories year-over-year. Just as a point of reference, the book market in the UK, in the United Kingdom was down 2.2% year-over-year as well. So, now we'll look at some individual subjects. The first subject area I'd like to look at is Romance. As we've already mentioned, it was one of the largest growing subjects year-over-year, and as you can see from this slide here, Romance as a subject category saw a unit growth of 55% year-over-year when comparing 2022 to 2021. And according to new data from our Canadian Leisure & Reading study, in 2022, 28% of ebook and print readers, and 33% of audiobook listeners read Romance books. In fact, audiobook listeners of Romance subjects increased by 154% from 2021 to 2022. What's also interesting is that this huge growth between 2021 and 2022 actually reverses a trend we saw off this graph, but from 27% in 2019 of Romance sales actually went downwards. So, we've bounced back a lot from that point. Even within this Romance subject category, there are tertiary Romance categories, or subcategories, that saw huge growth, and so those are LGBTQ+, Workplace Romances, and African American and Black Romances. You can't talk about romance in 2022 without talking about Colleen Hoover, whose titles dominated week after week through much of the year. Five of the top ten bestselling titles in all categories in 2022 were by Colleen Hoover. Aside from Colleen Hoover, other authors who joined into the Romance renaissance are Ali Hazelwood, Emily Henry, and Carley Fortune. When looking at the bestselling Fiction books for 2022, and Canadian Fiction books, again Colleen Hoover dominated the Fiction list this year, the overall Fiction list. She occupied half the list when it came to the end of the year. Some of her titles, like "It Ends with Us" are repeats, and "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens was here all the way from 2019. Unlike 2021 and 2020, which saw a majority of frontlist titles, this year, 70% of the featured list was made up of backlist titles, those titles older than a year. While Louise Penny is still a dominant force in Canadian fiction books, with two books on the list, Michelle Good takes the number one position with "Five Little Indians." Although a similar trend to what we saw last year, the majority of these titles are frontlist, 70% were published in 2022. Looking at Non-Fiction for a second, and yes, in the BISAC world Comics & Graphic Novels, at least the adult Comics & Graphic Novels are in the Non-
  • 4. Fiction category, this continues a trend we've seen for the last few years, but Comics & Graphic Novels were the bestselling adult Non-Fiction category, and saw a 39% growth year-over-year. I've also shown the Juvenile and the YA Comics & Graphic Novels categories here. Juvenile didn't see a huge growth this year, but the YA numbers were up almost 202% year-over-year. And within the comics and graphics area, it was really Manga that saw the huge growth year-over-year. Looking at some other Non-Fiction bestsellers, in the Non-Fiction category, the majority of backlist titles again, only 40% were published in 2022. This list contains mainly of Psychology and Self-Help titles, with a few celebrity biographies thrown in the mix. "21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act" by Bob Joseph is the only book that stayed on the Canadian list compared to last year. Although we don't have a lot of repeat titles, we do have some repeat authors. Jordan Peterson, Bob Joseph, Mandy Wolfe, Rebecca Wolfe, and Meredith Erickson in collaboration made a reappearance on the Canadian Non-Fiction list this year. Looking at kids books, Juvenile books, Activity books were up 28%, Curiosity & Wonder books were up 34%, Transportation was up 19%, and Comics & Graphic Novels, while not here, went up a fair amount as well. Young Adult trends, coming-of-age titles were up 101% year-over-year, dominated by the Alice Oseman titles, "Heartstopper" titles. Social Themes were up 69% earlier, Mysteries & Detectives were up 66%, Thrillers were up 50%, and just off the list, off the slide was LGBTQ+, up 20%. Perhaps another theme in YA titles is that the titles need to be in cursive. And looking at the bestsellers for Juvenile and YA, 60% of backlist titles again, only 4 other titles were published in 2022, and Young Adult books were in the majority, with Juvenile titles making up 40% of the list. Unlike last year, two frontlist books made the list, "Leaves!" by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko, and “Sharon, Lois & Bram's Skinnamarink" by Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein, Bram Morrison, and Win Leng were the only books published in 2022 to make the list. Like previous years, it's no surprise that Robert Munsch's "Love You Forever" maintains its number one spot on the Canadian Juvenile and Young Adult list. It has been number one on this list since 2019. In fact, all three editions, the paperback, the board book, and the hardcover made it onto the list. Unlike the overall Juvenile and Young Adult list, the Canadian list had Young Adult books in the minority with only two YA titles occupying the list.
  • 5. As you've heard me say to these lists, backlist has been a huge factor in book sales this year. So looking at that specifically, what we have here is the backlist versus frontlist breakdown over the last four years. So 2022, 67% of all books sold from our retailers were backlist titles, and within those, titles that are older than a year. This continues a trend that we've seen even before 2019, but we've really seen it accelerate in the last few years. So, what's driving this growth in backlist? Well, part of it for sure has been driven by BookTok. In our research, we track the influence of social media platforms on Canadian book consumers through our consumer studies. So far, in collecting data for the 2022 edition of our Canadian Book Consumer Survey, we found that 21% of all Canadian book buyers are on TikTok. That's up from 17% in 2021. The number of books purchased by Canadians because of a recommendation or review by TikTok has also increased, at 17% so far. Without a doubt, Canadian book buyers are buying backlist titles that trend on BookTok. The graph on the slide here shows the aggregated sales of each of 20 titles that were on BookTok month by month from July 2019 to June 2022. Over this time period, sales for these trending BookTok titles increased exponentially, up over 1,000% overall. From the lowest number of sales in September 2019, to the highest number of sales in December 2020, that's an increase of over 2,000%. As an example of some of the growth in titles of backlist titles, "Cain's Jawbone" by Edward Mathers was up 235,000% from October 2019 to June 2022. Back to Colleen Hoover again, "It Ends with Us" was up 42,000% between November 2019 and June 2022, and "Shadow and Bone" by Leigh Bardugo, also a Netflix show, was up over 6,000% from September of 2019 to May of 2021. So, BookTok is a trend that is contributing to sales and backlist sales in the Canadian market. If you're interested in more trend information, I urge you to view BookNet's recent presentation on trends in the Canadian book market that's available on our YouTube channel. One last thing from SalesData I wanted to share before moving on was a breakdown of sales of books by Canadian contributors, so that is books that were authored, illustrated, translated or edited by a Canadian. So, around 11% of all books sold in the SalesData market in 2022 were by a Canadian contributor, and this is roughly the same as 2021. This universe is about, in SalesData is about 180,000 ISBNs. If you're interested in any more information
  • 6. about the Canadian market in 2022, Canadian contributor sales or subject sales, I urge you to pick up a copy of our "Canadian Book Market" annual, which is available now from our website, booknetcanada.ca. Now pivoting slightly to our LibraryData overview for 2022, so similar to SalesData, our LibraryData system collects circulation information from close to 200 libraries across Canada on a weekly basis. We don't have data going back as far in LibraryData as we do in SalesData, as it just started in 2020, but what you see on the screen is a monthly breakdown of loans from the libraries that have contributed data to us for the last three years, with the purple year being 2022...purple line being 2022. Once again, you see a huge drop-off in the spring of 2020 in public library loans, with the onset of the pandemic. You should look a little more at the shape of these lines than their virtual positions, but what you can see from the shape of the lines is that we seem to be, again, coming back to a new normal, as we see the 2021 and 2022 lines look very similar. What I'm showing here is the subject breakdown for the library loans in 2022. Down in the lower left corner, you can see the subject loans for the sales data for the Canadian market as a comparison. What we can see here is that the library market was very dominated by the Juvenile checkouts and loans. While LibraryData only includes data on physical items at this point, we do ask about formats checked out in our consumer survey from libraries, and that's what you're seeing here. This is what borrowers told us they checked out of the library. There are big increases in digital formats in 2020, the pandemic year, and you can see that in the orange bar, and then decreases over the years in digital lending since, but we're still not all the way back to pre-pandemic levels. For more information on library borrowing, I encourage you to check out our blog at booknetcanada.ca, as we have a series there on book borrowing. And now I'd like to move on to some of our reading and consumer book buying trends, both readers and buyers from our surveys of adult English-speaking Canadians done in 2022. Let's go back to that reading data we shared at the start of the presentation. So once again in 2022, the pink bar, 8 in 10 adult English-speaking Canadians told us they read a book in 2022. Most readers read or listened to 1 to 5 books in 2022, 50% of our respondents, while 28% read or listened to 11 books, 16% read 12-49 books, and the really busy readers reading 50 or more were 6% of our respondents. Just to put that 78% in context, Australia ran a very similar
  • 7. reader survey to ours in 2021, and they had 75% of adult Australians reading or listening to a book, so very similar numbers. So, what did those 8 in 10 Canadians read? Well, we asked them about the books they read last year, and out of our 1,000 readers, 24% said they could identify reading a book about Canadians or locals, 14% about Black, Indigenous, or people of colour, 8% about LGBTQIA+, 12% about people with immigrant status, and 10% about disabled people. The BIPOC numbers are down lower in 2022 because they rose so much in 2021 because of what was going on in the marketplace then. So definitely, this is on a monthly basis...sorry, this is on a yearly basis. When we moved to our consumer panel a little bit and asked about what they bought, or what they bought on a monthly basis, over the year we created about 11,000 adult Canadians on the following book acquisition activities. 16% of our respondents said they bought a new book every month, 11% bought a used book, 7% bought an ebook, and 3% bought an audiobook. There's not a lot of change here year-over-year, but digital went up during 2021...or sorry, 2020 and 2021, but it's come down a little bit in 2022, again back to the new normal. We also asked about monthly borrowing. It's similar to purchasing. 40% of our respondents said they borrowed a print book, 6% said they borrowed an ebook, and 4% said they borrowed an audiobook. Again, a decrease in digital from 2020, but overall not a lot of change. And we also asked about free acquisitions. So, 9% said they'd received a book for gift, 7% said they'd downloaded an ebook for free, and 5% said they'd streamed an audiobook for free. More people acquired digital formats for free than borrowing or purchasing, and it's not just piracy, there are other ways to get free books. But, how much do the people who are buying books pay per month? It might be a little hard to tell, but it looks like book buyers have less to spend. What we're showing here is three years, with 2022 at the bottom. Well, at least they're spending less per month on books. You can see here that the large bar, the large spending bar, which is the orange bar, was 48%, 48% of people spent a $100 or more on books in 2020. That's dropped all the way down to 13%, with the biggest bar being the $1 to $49 spenders has risen to 64%. So, this decrease in spending is something we've also seen in the Leisure & Reading survey. It isn't a massive change, but it's definitely gone down in 2022 from 2020. We'll come back to this to have a look at what it might be.
  • 8. So the people that are buying books, what are they spending their money on? Well, when we look at formats, here's the format breakdown for the last four years. Looking closer at sales performance by format, paper book purchases have stayed relatively stable, hovering around 40% to 50% from 2019 to 2022. Hardcovers has stayed between 20% and 30%, and ebooks have fluctuated around 20% until the last quarter of 2022, where they dropped to 10% of purchases. This pulled the overall number for 2022 down for ebooks to 17%. Audiobooks have been the most consistent, staying around 5% from 2019 to 2022. Year-over-year, the sales of most formats in 2022 have either exceeded or returned to the volume sales in pre-pandemic years. All told, 73% of books purchased by Canadian book buyers in 2022 were print books, 17% were ebooks, and 6% were audiobooks. Now let's have a look at where they bought those books. So going on to where people bought their books, and breaking it down by the top-level channels, we can see that, this is from our consumer panel, then we've seen a decrease in 2022 of online purchasing. This isn't a big surprise post-pandemic, because the stores have opened up again. During the pandemic we saw a huge rise in online purchasing, and now we've seen it go back almost to pre-pandemic levels, again back to a new normal. The other interesting thing to call out here is the large growth in mobile sales. So, we would have expected in the pandemic for sales on mobile devices to increase, which we did see, but we have continued to see an increase, which is surprising, up to 10% of purchases in 2022. If we just look at print sales, just print physical books, and where they were purchased, we can see the bounce back here again of the physical book channels, the red line. It really fell off during the pandemic years, but has come back again in 2022. Related to this, 37% of our respondents said that COVID was impacting their book buying in 2022, but that's down from half of all respondents in 2020 and 2021. So, big changes, and back to the new normal. So then we went on to ask, well, the books that you did buy, how did you find out about them? So, how is awareness created that resulted in purchasing? Well, as in past years, the top three ways Canadian book buyers became aware of the books they bought were by reading other books by the author or the illustrator, 22% of Canadian book buyers said that, browsing or searching online or in person for the book, 20% of Canadian book buyers said that, reading a recommendation or review, 18% of Canadian book buyers said that. Social media was next on the list, just off the slide, and in the social media area,
  • 9. TikTok which I've mentioned before through BookTok, Reddit and Discord were the big gainers, and YouTube has almost caught up to Facebook in 2022. When we just look at searching and browsing in detail, what we're seeing here is the year-over-year change from 2019 to 2022 in different searching and browsing methods. So, in-store browsing was down 9% between 2019 and 2022, online ecommerce browsing was up 1%, searching online was up 13%, and social media was up 4%. Unsurprisingly, online browsing saw a huge increase in 2022, and that continued into 2021. In-store browsing didn't really see a bounce back to 2019 levels in 2022, but it was definitely up. So, what were those buyers searching for when they were searching? Those buyers were searching for books with diversity of perspectives, as well as Canadian perspectives. In 2022, Canadian book buyers searched for books by Canadian contributors 34% of the time, about Canada or regions within Canada 28%, about a group or culture written by people from that group or culture 23%, about Indigenous people 13%, by Indigenous contributors 12%. Buyers searching for books by or about Indigenous people doubled from 2021 to 2022. So in summary, here are some of the macro trends we saw in 2022, and we expect to continue into 2023. As has been mentioned throughout the presentation, we saw a noticeable bounce back in physical store shopping. Online is still up when we look at 2018 and 2019, and some of the pandemic growth has subsided in online, similar to other markets and channels. Out of all the book buyers we surveyed in the Canadian Book Consumer Survey last year, 64% said they visited a bookstore in person, up from 55% in 2020, and 54% in 2021. We can expect that this will continue into 2023 as well. We are seeing again a kind of a boom in book retailing, as we're seeing new stores open, and existing stores from other verticals start to sell some books. So, that's an interesting trend we'll continue to watch. Another trend that we're watching, that I mentioned earlier, which is growth in mobile. This is something we've been watching for the last 10 years or longer, but in 2022 we really saw mobile jump out not just in buying, but also in reading, and in browsing and searching. They all have continued to grow on mobile. Another trend we expect to continue, as long as TikTok isn't banned, is BookTok. As has been mentioned, it's a huge driver of book sales, and a very strong driver of backlist buying, and a driver of overall reading. It's also interesting that it is really appealing to younger readers, and bringing people
  • 10. that may not be buying books or reading into the world of reading. So, that's something to watch as well. Last but not least, the biggest trend we'll be watching, and we mentioned that it started to impact sales in 2022, or we see it did, is the economy, or the uncertainty around the economy and its impact on Canadian book buying. This is something that's not just in book buying, but what we're seeing across all kinds of different consumer categories, the trend of people spending a little less on their leisure activities because of an uncertainty around inflation, and its impact on their pocketbooks, and on the publishing industry and production in general. So, these are four macro trends we're watching over the next year. I'd also like to take this opportunity to point out that we will have "Canadian Book Market" annual, which is out now, which I've mentioned already. And coming up very shortly, we'll have the Canadian Book Consumer Report and the Leisure & Reading Study for 2022. Both of these will be available, all of these will be available on our website. Also, at the bottom there you can see some of the original research that we released in 2022, also available from our website. Also, as this is a Tech Forum website, a Tech Forum presentation, I'd like to mention that there are other Tech Forum presentations coming out in April on our updates to our products and services, and a presentation that was just held earlier this month, Applying content marketing hacks from Tech to Publishing. Those are all available from our new Tech Forum website. Check it out. Or from our YouTube channel, please check it out there. Thanks very much, everyone. Please feel free to reach out to me directly at ngenner@booknetcanada.ca. Sign up for our newsletter or podcast for more original research. Thanks very much, and have a great day.