Irish book sales enjoy another record year with Colleen Hoover the queen of the Irish market

Print book sales reached almost €170 million in 2022, the eighth successive year of growth

Print book sales in Ireland reached a new high in 2022 driven by a stellar performance from fiction authors.

Book sales in Ireland increased by 2 per cent to a record €169.6 million amounting to 13.4 million units. This compared to 13.3 million units worth €165.9 million in 2021 which in itself was a record year.

It is the eighth successive year of increased print book sales which are now 60 per cent higher than they were in 2014.

By contrast the print book sector in the UK decreased by 1 per cent to £1.8 billion (€2 billion) last year.


Fiction titles takes eight of the top 10 bestseller spots in both countries, backing up the strong growth for the sector.

The value of fiction books increased by 16 per cent in Ireland and 12 per cent in the UK compared to 2021, resulting in both experiencing record consumer spending as measured by BookScan, which is run by Nielsen.

This was counterbalanced by a 2 per cent decrease in the value of sales of children’s books and a fall of 5 per cent in the value of non-fiction sales in Ireland.

There were exceptions to that, with both countries seeing successful years for military history, history, autobiographies, poetry collections andanthologies.

Nielsen, which monitors book sales in both countries, stated that the fiction market held up in both countries despite the end of Covid-19 which had seen a boom in sales of all kinds of books and also despite the higher cost of living.

“Readers are no doubt looking for plenty of escapism and comfort, combined with the TikTok impact of making fiction books the thing to talk about again,” Nielsen concluded in its anonymously written blog.

“Even beyond fiction, the significantly different levels of growth and decline across the many categories show a more nuanced reaction to the current economic situation than flat out cutting spending, but if there are rockier times ahead, both the UK and Irish markets are starting from a strong position thanks to the varied successes of recent years.”

The queen of the Irish market was the American writer Colleen Hoover who had four titles in the top 20 sales. Her book It Ends With Us was Ireland’s bestselling book in 2022 by a margin of 35,000 copies.

It had sold 75,518 copies by Christmas Eve. Its sequel, It Starts With Us, is one of three other Hoover titles in the top 10, along with Verity and Ugly Love.

In Ireland, she was even the bestselling author for the whole market, ahead of Julia Donaldson who was the favourite once again in the UK, with Hoover in second.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, a coming-of-age murder mystery, sold almost 40,000 copies to take second place in Ireland. First published in 2019, it was adapted for a film lasy year starring Daisy Edgar-Jones. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, a Hollywood star’s life story told to a young reporter, came third, selling 37,820 copies.

The bestselling non-fiction book in Ireland last year was once against the non-fiction bestseller Guinness World Records 2023.

Diper Överlöde, the 17th book in Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, was Ireland’s bestselling children’s book with 31,396 sales. Amy Huberman is the bestselling Irish children’s author with The Day I Got Trapped in my Brain (12,102).


Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times