In order to better understand the role of religious books in the book industry, we researched, analyzed, and compiled religious book sales figure statistics.
- As of 2021, religious book sales have reached a total revenue of 705.1 million dollars.
- Sales revenue of religious books increased by 5.7% compared to 2020 and has increased for the second consecutive year.
- 2021 marks the fourth year in a row that the sales of religious books have surpassed 600 million and, for the first time, went over $700 million.
- Over the last 10 years, religious book sales have increased by over 22.3%.
- Religious material is sold mainly in print formats, making up for 76% of the category’s sales.
- 61.7% of total sales came from the hardcover format, accounting for over $435.7 million in revenue.
- 12.5% of religious sales come from digital formats, with e-books accounting for 6.9% and audiobooks contributing 5.6% of the revenue.
|Year||Religious books sales revenue ($ million)||Change|
- Religion publishing is worth over $1.42 billion as of 2021, which is a 21.9% increase over 2020, heavily affected by the pandemic.
- This figure combines religious press revenue with the revenue of religious books from other sources.
- Over the last 6 years, the religion publishing industry’s value increased by more than 35%.
- The only year with negative growth in the industry was 2020, dropping by 8% compared to 2019.
- As of 2020, over 179 million copies of religious books are sold in a year.
|Year||Religious book market value ($ billion)||Change|
Christian bookstores statistics
- Back in 1983, there were 3,290 Christian bookstores that were generating over $1 billion in revenue.
- By 2005, the number of bookstores dropped to 2,256, while one year later, in 2016, there were only around 1,128 Christian bookstores remaining.
- Less than 1,000 Christian bookstores remain open in the US as of 2020, including church bookshops.
- Less than 20% of all Christian book sales go through these bookshops, while the remaining 80% is sold through other channels.
- Years ago, the situation was the opposite – more than 80% of Christian books were sold through Christian bookstores.
Best-selling religious books of all time
As of 2015, the Guinness Book of World Records estimated that the Bible is the best-selling religious book of all time and the best-selling book overall.
- It is estimated that between 5 and 7 billion copies of the Bible have been sold.
- Over 800 million copies of The Holy Quran have been sold worldwide. However, some estimates suggest that over 3 billion copies of the book could be printed.
- The Book of Mormon has been translated into over 122 languages and sold over 185 million copies worldwide.