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Sales of printed books fall dramatically in 2013

Story by Jack Foley

SALES of printed books experienced a massive decline in 2013.

According to figures released by Nielsen BookScan, sales fell by £98m last year, which represents a drop of 6.5% from 2012. The number of actual books sold also fell to 183.9 million (a decrease of 9.8%).

In all, a total of £1.416 billion was spent on paperbacks and hardbacks in the 52-week period up to December 28.

In part, the reason for the decline was attributed to the continued rise of the digital e-book as well as the lack of any record-breaking titles in 2013. A year earlier, EL James’s Fifty Shades of Grey erotic novels had created a stir and sent sales figures soaring – at its peak, the series accounted for almost half of all novels bought in the UK.

Coupled with that, over two million UK users joined the digital book market in the first nine months of 2013.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s My Autobiography was the best-selling book overall of 2013, shifting 803,084 copies, while the hardback version of Dan Brown’s Inferno was the best-selling novel, with 640,676 copies purchased.