Nielsen Launches BookScan and Bestseller Lists in Mexico

In Feature Articles by Adam Critchley

Mexico has become the first Spanish-language market in the Americas in which Nielsen’s research service BookScan operates, with inaugural bestseller lists made public during the launch.

Attendees arrive on November 30 at Guadalajara International Book Fair. Image: Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara © Gonzalo García

By Adam Critchley

Top 10 Lists in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Childen’s

At Guadalajara International Book Fair on Wednesday (November 29), Nielsen announced the launch of its BookScan service, making Mexico the 10th country in which the service operates.

The others are UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India, Italy, Spain, Brazil, and South Africa.

And so Mexico has become the first Spanish-language country in the Americas in which the service is being rolled out.

BookScan provides a market measurement of retail book sales based by collecting information from bookshops and online retailers on what books are sold, the quantity, and the price. This data is validated and analyzed to produce bestseller lists, price and imprint comparisons, backlist analyses, and other information such as distribution and stock levels for booksellers and publishers.

Nielsen’s data is collected weekly and is consolidated monthly, quarterly and annually. The resulting statistics can be expressed by volume and value and selling price, surfacing the effects of pricing and discounting on sales.

In making the announcement at the launch event, David Pemán, BookScan manager for Nielsen Mexico, said, “With this platform we’ll be able to offer information to Mexico’s publishing sector to strengthen decision-making by both publishers and booksellers.”

BookScan metrics offer breakdowns according to genre, titles, authors, and publishers. The system is to  make weekly audits in Mexico of reports from the country’s leading bookstores, the resulting analysis expected to help publishers and booksellers make more accurate projections and plans, understanding market demands, real sales, and the life cycles of books, leading to better planned print runs, Pemán said.

Mexico is reported by the publishing chamber, Cámara Nacional de la Industria Editorial Mexicana (CANIEM), to have produced 98.5 million books in 2015, not including 46 million free school textbooks published by the education ministry.

One of the most challenging aspects of the market for publishers, however, is that Mexico has only some 1,660 bookstores for a country of 120 million, or roughly one retail point for everry 67,500 inhabitants, according to the country’s culture ministry.

Visitors to the floor of Guadalajara International Book Fair 2017. Image: Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara © Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara © Ana Cristina Rodríguez Martínez

Three Top 10 Lists from Nielsen Mexico


1 Origen Planeta 9786070743672
2 La Cabaña Booket 9786070733123
3 Más allá del invierno Plaza Janés 9786073156165
4 Eva Alfaguara 9786073157827
5 El hombre en busca del sentido Herder 9788425432026
6 Una columna de fuego Plaza Janés 9786073157520
7 Escrito en el agua Planeta 9786070740497
8 It (eso) Debolsillo 9786073105521
9 It (eso) – Edición película Debolsillo 9786073156615
10 La razón de estar contigo Roca editorial 9788416867349


1 México Bizarro Planeta 9786070744150
2 Tiempo de arcángeles Alamah 9786073153591
3 Véndele a la mente no a la gente Plaza 9786077472476
4 Ya te dije adiós, ahora cómo te olvido Oceano 9786075272627
5 Cocineros mexicanos Grijalbo 9786073154376
6 Y colorín colorado este cuento aún no se ha acabado Diana 978670733932
7 Los cuatro acuerdos Urano 9786079513979
8 Actitud positiva Aguilar 9786073156875
9 Patria 1 Planeta 9786070740916
10 El poder del ahora Grijalbo 9786073110297


1 Gravity Falls – Diario 3 Planeta infantil 9786070741050
2 CD9 – Nuestra historia Altea 9786073156011
3 Cuentos de buenas noches para niñas rebeldes Planeta 9786070739798
4 COCO: Arte anti estrés para colorear Hachette 9786072108172
5 El mundo de COCO Mega ediciones 9786072108509
6 Gravity Falls – Dipper y Mabel, La maldición de los piratas Planeta infantil 9786070740060
7 COCO – La novela Planeta infantil 9786070745638
8 Uno siempre cambia al amor de su vida Planeta 9786070732850
9 Gravity Falls – Cómic 1 Planeta infantil 9786070744280
10 Gravity Falls – Guía de misterio y diversión Planeta infantil 9786070739958
The Guadalajara International Book Fair continues its run through Sunday (December 3).

On the show exhibition floor this week at Guadalajara International Book Fair. Image: Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara

About the Author

Adam Critchley

Adam Critchley is a Mexico-based freelance writer and translator. His articles have been published in Latin American Literature Today, Brando, Forbes, GQ, Gatopardo, Publishers Weekly, Travesías and Vinísfera, among other publications, and his short stories have appeared in The Brooklyn Review, El Puro Cuento and Storyteller-UK. His translations include a series of children's books based on indigenous Mexican folk tales. He can be contacted at