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Sebastian Barry, king of the fiction world in 2009 with over 70,000 units sold of The Secret Scripture
The Irish Independent story is based almost entirely on the Nielsen figures and doesn’t mention that this can cause a bias because of what doesn’t get included (independent stores and some non-trade sales outlets). In any case, it’s a fascinating read and the nub of the issue which isn’t explored fully lies here:
Overall, however, the Irish retail book sector remains remarkably buoyant despite the recession, with the latest Nielsen data valuing the fiction market here at just over €37m for 2009 with sales of 3,882,427 to date for 46,929 titles. The non-fiction figures are running at 4,630,297 book sales worth just €65m for 199,377 titles.
This compares with the 2008 total market value of €111.3m.
Of course what seems like good news, hides rather bad news for Irish publishers of all shades. Still, no need to get TOO depressing on a Sunday!