A recent article on Religion and MBS book categories in The Bookseller (6th March) stated that Christianity book sales, as reported through Nielsen Bookscan, had risen by 12% (to £4.7m) on 2014 and that Bibles and liturgy sales were up 6% (to £5.2m).
The article, by John Lewis, said these rises bucked the recent trend where sales in this sub-category and the genre as a whole had declined in years previously with the Religion category as a whole dropping below £16m in 2013 for the first time since 2010.
The rise in reported sales of Christian books and Bibles may however be due to another reason. Even the improved figures for Christian books and Bible sales in 2014, at £10.1m probably represent a fraction of actual sales in the UK.
Clem Jackson, editor of the trade magazine Together says, “In 2014 we saw an increase in the number of Christian bookshops (both independent and chain) reporting their sales figures to Nielsen Bookscan. This change in reporting alone might account for the rise and also mask what could still be a decline overall within the trade.”
However he adds that the trade should take some comfort from the fact that increased reporting gives the Christian sub-genre potentially a greater level of influence in the market. “If another 30-40 independent bookshops were to sign up to Nielsen Bookscan then we could yet see a Christian bestseller chart being produced and The Bookseller reporting more on what is happening in our sector.
Retailers interested in contributing to the sales data reporting through Nielsen Bookscan’s TCM panel should contact email@example.com.
February 5th, 2015 - Posted & Written by Together Magazine