As the economy continues to grow, our living standards have been increasing rapidly too. With an eye to detail and stronger demand for quality, more and more people started looking for new ways to live a sensible and rational life. Lifestyle books have become an important source of advice for people seeking to improve the quality of life.
Market share of lifestyle books tend to stabilize
According to OpenBook’s data on the national book retail market, the share of lifestyle books in aggregate fixed price dropped firstly and then gradually stabilized. In terms of the number of titles, its share remains stable most of the time. During the first half of 2016, this category accounted for 4.27% of the aggregate fixed price and 4.73% of total number of titles. The ratio of the aggregate fixed price to total number of titles for lifestyle books is 0.90, lower than the market average of 1.00 and indicating relatively weak profitability. The low market share mostly comes down to a lack of selling points, a common problem for lifestyle books. A comparison between online and offline sales channels revealed little difference in its share in the total number of titles but a greater discrepancy in how much it contributes to the aggregate fixed price. For books sold online, the share in aggregate fixed price first declined and the started to rise while the trend has been a steady decline for books sold from physical bookstores. Overall, online sales boasts a higher share of lifestyle books both in aggregate fixed price and total number of titles.
Public health is the bestselling category and sports & leisure books are more sought-after online
In OpenBook’s classification system, lifestyle books can be further divided into 8 sub-categories that include public health, diet, sports & leisure, travel, handwork, lifestyle guide & tips, pet& gardening and beauty & fashion. For both physical and online bookstores, public health is the biggest sub-category with its sales comprising 45% of the aggregate fixed price of lifestyle books. This sub-category mainly includes books on health,diet, pregnancy/delivery/ parenting and health care, and its readers constitute a large part of the general public. This is followed by diet, a category whose share in the aggre - gate fixed price is more than 17%, and of which books on Chinese and Western cuisine account for 60%. The share for other categories like handwork, pet & gardening, beauty & fashion and lifestyle guide & tips is much smaller and mostly around 3%. An analysis based on different sales channels shows that public health books are more likely to be sold at physical stores while online shopping platforms are a preferred choice among buyers of books from categories like travel and lifestyle guide & tips.
Growth slowing down in the number of new titles and reduced share in aggregate fixed price
According to OpenBook’s market monitor, 3261 new titles that belong to the lifestyle category were published during the first half of 2016, decreasing by 250 compared to the same period in 2015 and commensurate with the overall sales growth for lifestyle books. New titles are responsible for 4.75% of the sales growth for lifestyle books during the first half of 2016, while contributing 7.35% to the aggregate fixed price of this market. Its ratio of the aggregate fixed price to total number of titles is 1.55, an indication of stronger profitability than the average of the market for lifestyle books.
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