UK book sales up 5% in 2017
British publishing sales rose 5% to £5.7 billion (A$10bn) in 2017, according to the Publishers Association’s (PA) annual yearbook, reports the Bookseller.
Export sales drove the growth, and were up 8% in 2017 to £3.4 billion ($A6bn), accounting for 60% of publishers’ revenues in 2017. Most areas of business performed well, but there were decreases of 12% in domestic sales of textbooks to schools, 3% in sales of children’s books and 9% in domestic sales of consumer ebooks.
Total book sale income (print and digital) was up 4% in 2017 to £3.7 billion (A$6.5bn). Print book revenue was up 5% last year to £3.1 billion (A$5.4bn), while total digital sales income including journals rose 3% to £1.8bn (A$3.1bn). However, digital book sales (taking our journals) were down by 2% to £543 million (A$960m), and consumer ebook sales were down by 7% to £191 million (A$337m).
In the domestic consumer market, ebook sales decreased by 9% to £139 million (A$245m), with fiction ebook sales down 11%, but nonfiction ebooks up 4%. Ebooks account for 35% of the invoiced value of UK publishers’ digital sales in 2017, down from 51% in 2013.
Sales of audiobooks increased by 25% to £31 million (A$54m). Between 2013 and 2017, publisher revenue from consumer ebooks fell by a quarter but, as previously reported, audiobook download sales more than doubled.
In print, income from hardback fiction was up 31% in 2017, fiction overall was up 3% and nonfiction/reference was up 4%.
In the academic sector, physical and digital book sales combined were up 6% and journals sales rose 5%. Sales of social sciences and humanity print books were up 9% and STM print books were up 8%.
This year, the PA has included revenue from co-edition, rights and licensing sales to give a more accurate reflection of earnings.
Category: International news