Book Statistics: Market Report & Data

Highlights: The Most Important Book Statistics

  • Approximately 675 million print books were sold in the U.S. in 2020.
  • Roughly 1.68 billion books are published annually worldwide.
  • The global book publishing industry is worth $103.53 billion.
  • "Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes is the best-selling book of all time with over 500 million copies sold.
  • E-books accounted for 18% of all book sales in the U.S. in 2020.
  • In 2020, 67% of Americans read a print book.
  • There are over 130 million unique books in the world.
  • More than 3,000 new books are published daily in China.
  • E-book sales are projected to be about $12.3 billion in 2020.
  • 70% of books published do not make a profit.
  • 21% of American adults have read an e-book in the past year.
  • 91% of books published sell fewer than 100 copies.
  • Only 3% of books published in the U.S. are translations.
  • As of 2020, Amazon's share of the US digital book market is approximately 83%.
  • 27% of Americans haven’t read a book in the past year.

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Welcome to our comprehensive exploration into the fascinating world of Book Statistics. As we delve deeper into the riveting realm of literature, we will unravel intriguing patterns, trends and insights wrapped within the pages of countless books. Unearthing everything from publishing rates, genre popularity, reading habits, to the economic influence of books, we aim to provide a statistically sound perspective that serves authors, publishers, readers, and all book enthusiasts. Join us as we decode the numbers behind the narratives, uncovering the engaging story of Book Statistics.

The Latest Book Statistics Unveiled

Approximately 675 million print books were sold in the U.S. in 2020.

An examination of the data point ‘Approximately 675 million print books were sold in the U.S. in 2020’ offers striking insights into many facets of the book industry. It not only highlights the sustainability of the physical book business amidst digital upheaval, but it also successfully underscores the enduring appeal of traditional print media to US readers. As it punctuates the resilience and relevance of print books against e-books invasion, this figure also cues a vibrant landscape for writers, publishers, and retailers, who can seize this potential to grow. Furthermore, it paints a vivid picture of literary vigor in the nation, suggesting that the romance of physically holding a book and flipping through its pages is far from being passé.

Roughly 1.68 billion books are published annually worldwide.

Unveiling a staggering figure, approximately 1.68 billion books make their grand debut on the global stage each year, underscoring the enduring popularity of the printed word. In a world seemingly dominated by digital media, this statistic shines a spotlight on the resilience of books, painting a revelationary landscape for book enthusiasts and industry observers alike. Its relevance in a blog post about Book Statistics cannot be overstated, as it provides tangible proof of the ubiquity and prevailing influence of books, elevating further discourse about cultural trends, industry economics, and the impacts of globalization on literary creativity.

The global book publishing industry is worth $103.53 billion.

Climbing to a grand summit of $103.53 billion, the global book publishing industry’s worth uncovers a tale of its robust vitality and resilience. This significant figure serves as a vibrant heartbeat signaling the continued relevance of traditional literature. In a digital age where many media are withering, books still hold a potent allure. This rosy numerical picture drawn from the chaos of global commerce not only underscores the influential role books continue to play, but it also opens a door for profound investigation and discussion on trends, consumption patterns, and transformative powers within the sphere of book publishing.

“Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes is the best-selling book of all time with over 500 million copies sold.

Highlighting the staggering sales of “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes, standing at over 500 million copies sold, serves as a beacon illuminating the enduring power of classic literature in the vast sea of published works. An indisputable titan in the world of print, this statistic subtly underscores the alluring charisma of beautifully crafted prose and timeless narratives that transcend geographical borders, cultural differences, and epochs. Against the backdrop of a blog post focusing on book statistics, the meteoric numbers achieved by “Don Quixote” forge a compelling juxtaposition to the fleeting frenzy of contemporary bestsellers, thereby enriching our understanding of literature’s evolutionary trajectory soaked in unpredictability and charm.

E-books accounted for 18% of all book sales in the U.S. in 2020.

Drilling into the structure of the grand literary market, the declarative figure that E-books constituted 18% of all the book sales in the U.S. in the year 2020 deserves to be underscored. It presents a lucid glimpse into the shifting reading patterns of the population, implicitly suggesting a transition towards digitization of literature. The statistic indirectly hints at the growing acceptance of digital platforms for reading, potentially driven by the convenience of portability, space conservation, and ease of access, which may have been amplified with the rise of remote routines during the pandemic. For any book enthusiast or industry observer, this information provides valuable insight into the evolving publishing landscape, reader preferences, and market trends, thereby equipping them with relevant context to adapt to, or anticipate changes in, this digital era of literature.

In 2020, 67% of Americans read a print book.

Unveiling the enduring charm of printed literature, a striking statistic reverberates: In the epoch of 2020 – an age that saw the robust rise of digitalization – an impressive cohort of 67% Americans showed unwavering fidelity towards print books. A testament to the unquenchable thirst for the tactile romanticism of flipping paper pages in a largely digital world, this figure is more than just a number. Within a blog post discerning the currents that shape reading habits and book trends, it illuminates the resilient appeal of print books, underscoring their importance even in the face of burgeoning technological alternatives, drawing a vivid picture of America’s nuanced literary landscape.

There are over 130 million unique books in the world.

Diving into the oceanic depths of over 130 million unique books to be found worldwide illuminates the sheer diversity and richness in our global literary heritage. In the realm of book statistics, this number signifies not just a tally, but also a testament to human intellect, creativity, and the enduring value of written knowledge. Reflecting on this data can tap into our collective fascination with the written word, amplify the enormity of human narratives etched across time and cultures, and underscore the limitless potential of future literary endeavors.

More than 3,000 new books are published daily in China.

Delving into the realm of book statistics, it’s rather awe-inspiring to discover that China is an undeniable powerhouse in the world of literature with over 3,000 new books being published each day. This overwhelming figure not only encapsulates the variety and richness of content tapping into diverse subject matter and genres, but it also underpins China’s vibrant book market, reinforcing its stature as one of the leading literary contributors globally. Furthermore, this data point can be invaluable in providing indicators for patterns amongst readers, influencing publishing trends, and evolving to meet the dynamic demands of the readers populace efficiently.

E-book sales are projected to be about $12.3 billion in 2020.

Highlighting the anticipated $12.3 billion sales figure for E-books in 2020 provides a compelling insight into the ongoing digital revolution in the literary sphere. It underscores a seismic shift in reading preference, indicating a growing fondness for the digital medium’s convenience and accessibility. Moreover, it crucially helps authors, publishers, and marketers to understand and navigate their strategies toward this substantial digital market segment. This knowledge can enhance their decision-making process related to the kind of books to publish, pricing policies, and where to focus their promotional activities.

70% of books published do not make a profit.

Navigating the intricacies of book publishing can often seem like treading through an enigmatic maze. However, casting light on the stark reality, the stark statistic that 70% of published books fail to turn a profit drops a truth bomb hard to ignore. In a blog post dissecting book statistics, this percentage becomes a sobering reminder of the existence of high-risk in the publishing sector, acting as a compass of caution for aspiring authors and publishing houses. It underscores the necessity for rigorous market research, calculated promotion strategies, and a careful evaluation of potential returns on investment. Potentially, it could be the guiding star for devising effective sales strategies and realistic goal-setting, thereby impacting both the creative and business side of the book industry.

21% of American adults have read an e-book in the past year.

Delving into the realm of digital literature, the transformative statistic that reveals 21% of American adults have engaged with an e-book in the past year cultivates an undeniable understanding of modern reading habits’ shifting panorama. This significant percentage underscores the burgeoning digital sphere’s influence in the literary world, spotlighting the transition from the tactile gratification of paperback towards the practical convenience of electronic format. Viewed through the prism of this digital revolution, bloggers can wield this statistic to compose engaging content, illuminate perceptions in reader preferences, and steer market strategies accordingly, all the while adding depth and perspective to their discussion around book statistics.

91% of books published sell fewer than 100 copies.

In the realm of book statistics, an intriguing figure captivates attention: a striking 91% of books published underperform, selling shy of 100 copies. These numbers, stark and somewhat disheartening, serve as the veritable browsing aisle, signaling both the competitive nature of the literary world and the immense challenge authors face to pierce through the fog of titles flooding the market. For those budding authors aspiring for their work to touch myriad lives, or even those fascinated by the dynamics of the publishing arena, this statistic breathes life into the reality of the climb up the bestseller list, inciting reflection on the ingredients imbibed by the exceptional 9% that break this threshold.

Only 3% of books published in the U.S. are translations.

Highlighting the diminutive 3% serves as an illuminating glimpse into America’s literary landscape, revealing a stark underrepresentation of foreign literature. Unfortunately, this conveys an insular publishing industry that too often overlooks the diversity and wealth of literature beyond U.S. shores. An informed reader might perceive this as a missed opportunity for literary cross-pollination of ideas and themes, enriching both the American bookscape and world literature as a whole. Such a statistic, therefore, spaces a critical conversation about greater recognition and promotion of translated works within the U.S. publishing industry.

As of 2020, Amazon’s share of the US digital book market is approximately 83%.

Diving into the realm of Book Statistics, we find the colossal figure of Amazon echoing in the corridors. By 2020, the digital titan had wrested control of an impressive 83% of the US digital book market, a testament not only to its dominance but also its influence on reading habits and publishing trends. In our increasingly digital world, understanding Amazon’s towering position is crucial for any author, publisher, or reader looking to navigate the choppy seas of the book industry’s future. This stratospheric market share speaks volumes about the shifting sands of literary consumption, casting a spotlight on the digital frontier of the book world. A statistic of this magnitude is the compass guiding us in our exploration of Book Statistics.

27% of Americans haven’t read a book in the past year.

Peeling back the layers on the intimate relationship between American society and literature, a surprising bookmark of truth comes to light: 27% of Americans have not turned a page in any book for the past year. This striking fact furnishes a vital context for any discourse on book statistics, signaling an alarming trend of non-readership that invites scrutiny. Sliced another way, it implies that nearly a third of the population is missing out on the voyage of discovery that reading offers, including enhanced cognitive abilities, better empathy, and stress reduction. In our exploration of book statistics, this remarkable fraction is crucial—it tells us not just about how many are reading, but more importantly about who isn’t, potentially unveiling untapped market segments for publishers and authors alike while underscoring a societal need for intensified literacy programs.


To sum up, statistics from the book industry offer an intriguing insight into reader demographics, preferences, and trends that are constantly evolving. The data underscores the enduring relevance of print books despite the rise of digital platforms while simultaneously underlining the growing influence of e-books and audiobooks. However, a deeper understanding of these statistics is crucial for publishers and authors alike to adapt to shifting reader habits, bridge gender and age gaps, and craft marketing strategies that resonate with diverse audience subsets. Therefore, whether you’re in the publishing trade or an ardent bibliophile, staying updated with book statistics can enrich your understanding of the dynamic literary landscape.


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What is the average number of pages in a novel?

The average number of pages in a novel is around 250 to 300.

How much time does an average reader take to read a book?

Depending on their reading speed, an average reader takes about 6 to 7 hours to read a book of 200 to 300 pages.

What is the most popular book genre?

According to sales statistics, the most popular book genre is romance/erotica, followed closely by crime/mystery.

What is the percentage of electronic books sold compared to physical books?

As of 2020, electronic books accounted for roughly 18% of all books sold globally while physical books continue to be the largest segment with 80% of the total book market.

How many new books are published each year?

In the United States alone, over one million new books are published each year. Globally, the number is close to 2.2 million.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

See our Editorial Process.

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