I tried to find sales figures about printed fantasy novels and how they compare among different countries, but I couldn't find anything in that regard.

I can find generic statistics about how the American market for SF&F is evolving over the past years. Or how the European book market grew in recent years. Or country specific information without any details about the specific sales per genre. Or comparisons between a few selected countries for book prices. This last one gives me the sort of information I am searching for, but only for the countries Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain, where "Fantasy & Science-Fiction" has the highest percentage of sold units in Germany though this is only about e-books. But nothing that specifically tries to compare the sales in different countries grouped by the genre of books and whether they are digital or printed.

Therefore I am asking here: in which country do printed fantasy novels sell the most?

As I have seen many statistics that put Science-Fiction and Fantasy together answers to this question can also assume that they can be put together. Answers that find statistics solely about the fantasy genre will be rated higher though. Ideally an answer would provide me with a source that regularly posts statistics comparing the book sales per genre and category (digital/ printed) on a per-country basis with lots of countries being looked at so that I could look up the current statistics in the future.

Total numbers would be preferrable, but if you can find information on a per capita basis that would be very interesting, too.

  • I assume you want total numbers rather than per capita? Population size would be an important factor then. Mar 11, 2019 at 19:31
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    @Galastel Yes, total numbers would be preferrable, but if you can find information on a per capita basis that would be very interesting, too.
    – Secespitus
    Mar 11, 2019 at 19:33
  • Why printed? In the US, traditionally published SF&F sales have dropped from 25 million in 2009 to 12 million in 2017 while traditionally and self-published SF&F ebooks have increased sales from 0 in 2009 to 40 million in 2017.
    – user37461
    Mar 25, 2019 at 13:37
  • @user10915156 I prefer printed books personally, because I like arranging them in my own bookshelves, which is why I am looking for statistics on them. Call it a naive dream of being able to go into an old fashioned bookstore with others, point at the bookshelves and say: "I made that!" and now I am interested in finding out where my chances for making this dream come true are the highest. But I can only find generic statements that printed books are becoming rarer and then some specific statistics for ebooks - I want this the other way around.
    – Secespitus
    Mar 25, 2019 at 13:44
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    Actually, @user37461, in the countries with the highest sales, you also have the highest chance of being published. Supply and demand. High sales mean high demand. Publishers are looking for ways of increasing their supply in order to make more money. US/Canada, United Kingdom, and Japan are probably the three best bets with China then other nations in Europe following behind them. It's worth noting, the majority of Light Novel writers in Japan started out as hobbyists. New LN series are published weekly. Mar 31, 2019 at 4:47

2 Answers 2


This is NOT a great or complete answer, just the start of one, as it's been unanswered for a bit.

and https://www.statista.com/topics/4062/book-market-in-europe/

(I'm not a subscriber to this, so I don't get the complete set of reports, which may answer your question)


This answer is mainly speculation, but it's speculation based on what I have seen come out the pipeline from a few nations. Based on the sheer number of fantasy Light Novel series Japan publishes each year, I'd have to say they sell the most. This assumes, of course, that we are using the following variables:

  • We are talking about print, not comics. (Include comics, and it's DEFINITELY Japan)
  • We are talking about fantasy in the sense of wizards, knights, and dragons. (Urban fantasy and Fantasy series like One Piece are excluded, otherwise again, it's DEFINITELY Japan)
  • We are talking about modern day publications, not historically, as in beyond our generation. (Otherwise... I have no idea. The British or the Greeks maybe? Beats me.)

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