Given the rise of digital publishing in the book industry, we wanted to understand how print book sales have changed over the years. We researched, analyzed, and compiled statistics and facts regarding print book sales figures, as well as the number of physical books sold and print book sales revenue per year.
Number of print books sold every year
- In 2022, over 788.7 million copies of printed books were sold in the United States.
- This figure was the second-highest sales mark for printed books in the 21st century, trailing only a record-setting 2021 with 843 million copies sold.
- Overall, print book sales have grown by almost 100 million copies compared to the pre-pandemic period.
- 2020 and 2021 were the biggest years for print book sales this decade when the unit sales jumped by 11.24% and 9.26% over the previous years, respectively.
- The biggest category in print is still adult nonfiction, which sold over 289 million copies last year and accounts for 37.8% of all print book sales.
- Another adult category, fiction, is the second-highest-selling category, with 189 million copies sold last year, accounting for 24.7% of print book sales.
- The fastest-growing category of print books is young adult (YA) fiction, which sales have grown by 46.86% over the last 5 years.
|Year||Number of print books sold by the year (million copies)|
Based on the annual sales figures, we can estimate that:
- 65.71 million books are sold every month
- 15.16 million books are sold every week
- 2.16 million books are sold every day
- 90,250 books are sold every hour
- 1,505 books are sold every minute
- 25.2 books are sold every minute
Are printed book sales declining or making a comeback?
The number of books sold declined by 24.04% from a record high in 2008 to a record low in 2012. But since then, the print book industry has been making a comeback. Going from 591 million physical books sold in 2012 to 788.7 million in 2022, print book sales grew 33.45% over this period.