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Book publishing industry, 2022

Released: 2024-02-19

Operating revenue, book publishers

$1.6 billion


8.3% increase

(period-to-period change)

A renewed love for reading helped push the book publishers industry to new highs in 2022

Operating revenue for book publishers rose 8.3% to $1.6 billion from 2020 to 2022, the largest increase since comparable data became available in 2014. The book publishers industry was bolstered by a resurgence in reading activity, with social media and its influencers playing a key role.

In 2022, operating expenses for the industry increased 8.5% to $1.5 billion, fuelled in part by rising wages, the cost of materials (mainly paper) and transportation. Salaries, wages and benefits rose 12.6% to a record high of $378.2 million and remained the largest share of operating expenses, at 25.5%.

With a renewed excitement for reading, total sales rose 8.8% to $1.4 billion in 2022, with growth in exports (+13.9%) outpacing the increase of sales in Canada (+7.0%). Sales of e-books continued to expand, rising 14.6% to $297.5 million from 2020 to 2022. Over the same period, sales of print titles (not on the Internet) increased 7.4% to $838.5 million, while Internet sales of print titles rose at a slower pace, up 5.6% to $204.6 million.

Sales of books in Canada rebound following the COVID-19 pandemic

Total book sales in Canada grew to $998.3 million in 2022, surpassing the 2018 value of $987.2 million. With lockdown restrictions no longer in effect, Canadians are purchasing more books from brick-and-mortar locations. Sales of print books (not on the Internet) in Canada increased 10.5% to $696.4 million in 2022, just shy of the $702.7 million reached in 2018. At the same time, total sales of e-books were relatively unchanged compared with 2020, while total online sales of print books (-$1.0 million) dipped slightly. However, both remained higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Canadian authors gain more ground

In 2022, book sales by Canadian authors rose 10.5% to $707.6 million, while sales by foreign authors increased 6.7% to $633.0 million. As a result, the share of sales attributable to Canadian authors edged up from 51.9% in 2020 to 52.8% in 2022, marking the second consecutive period in which the majority of sales came from books by Canadian authors.

Reading into the future

The expense pressures of recent years are still weighing on the book publishers industry, as the costs of paper, transportation and labour continue to climb. With rising costs of producing physical books and the allure of e-books' cheaper price tag for consumers, the industry may rely more on e-book titles going forward.

Detailed financial statistics for the book publishers industry in 2024 will be provided following the survey data collection in 2025.

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  Note to readers

Data for 2018 and 2020 have been revised.

The Arts and Culture Data Viewer, an interactive tool that allows users to easily break down economic and social data from Statistics Canada on arts and culture by geographic area and other dimensions, is now available.

These and other data related to the arts, culture, heritage and sport sector can be found at the Culture statistics portal.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (

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