Bestselling 2018 English-Language Books in Canada

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BookNet Canada releases the country’s bestselling English-language book sales of 2018—for both Canadian authors and overall bestselling titles.

These three Canadian-authored books topped the 2018 list of bestselling English-language books in Canada.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Nonfiction Sees Another Small Increase
The total volume of print books sold in Canada in 2018, as tracked by BookNet Canada’s SalesData service, was 54.7 million units, according to information from the industry statistics organization. According to its site, BookNet Canada “tracks 85% of all English-language Canadian print book sales.”

The valuation placed on that volume of sales is CAN$1.13 billion (US$850.9 million).

This level of activity gives the print market a flat comparison in 2018 to 2017 in the summary of the BookNet Canada evaluation, its SalesData interpretations being created by using year-over-year analysis of a subset of comparable retailers.

For a second year, the tracking program has seen nonfiction sales rise a bit in print (1.5 percent), with fiction declining slightly (0.5 percent).

Another ongoing trend: backlist print titles represented some 60 percent of sales, with frontlist at 40 percent in both 2017 and 2018.

Canada’s bestselling print books by Canadian authors in 2018:

  1. 12 Rules for Life, Jordan B. Peterson
  2. Yum and Yummer, Greta Podleski
  3. The Sun and Her Flowers, Rupi Kaur (paperback)
  4. Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur (paperback)
  5. Love You Forever, Robert Munsch
  6. Cujo, Curtis Joseph
  7. Washington Black, Esi Edugyan (winner, 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize)
  8. The Home for Unwanted Girls, Joanna Goodman
  9. Rick Mercer Final Report, Rick Mercer
  10. The Marrow Thieves,. Cherie Dimaline (a Canada Reads selection)

In category analysis, BookNet sees a fairly stable set of divisions, the key readout being that juvenile and YA titles accounted for some 39.5 percent of the market in 2018 and 40.0 percent in 2017.

Canada’s overall bestselling print books in 2018:

  1. Becoming, Michelle Obama (in seven weeks of sales)
  2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Manson (top bestseller in 2017)
  3. 12 Rules for Life, Jordan B. Peterson
  4. Educated, Tara Westover
  5. The Wonky Donkey, Craig Smith
  6. The Woman in the Window, AJ Finn
  7. Dog Man and Cat Kid, Dav Pilkey
  8. Yum and Yummer, Greta Podleski
  9. The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris
  10. Then She Was Gone, Lisa Jewell

More elements of BookNet’s 2018 review are to be released in coming weeks.


More from Publishing Perspectives on Canada is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He is also co-owner and editor with Jane Friedman of The Hot Sheet, the newsletter for trade and indie authors. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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