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German book sales down 8.3% in year to June

In Germany, book sales are down 8.3% for the year to June, according to the German Publishers and Booksellers Association.

The overall drop in sales represents a recovery from a 14.9% year on year decline recorded when bookshops reopened following the Covid-19 shutdown. In comparison to these overall sales figures, sales from bricks and mortar bookshops are down 13.9% on the previous year to June, having improved from a 21.1% deficit in mid-April.

Children’s and YA book sales recorded a 3.6% increase in sales compared to the same time in 2019.

A survey of publishers revealed a year-on-year decrease of 14.5% in sales for the January to May period. More than half of publishers surveyed stated they had postponed titles until next year, while about 36% said some planned titles would not appear at all—mostly books by unknown authors and niche titles.

‘Although the Corona pandemic has hit the book industry hard economically, it has also released great energy,’ said Publishers and Booksellers Association chair Karin Schmidt-Friderichs. ‘Staff in bookstores and publishing houses have effectively tackled the challenge, launching delivery services and online events with great creativity. The book trade also benefited from the fact that it has long been well positioned with its online shops. German bookstores and publishers are thus proving to be reliable partners for the supply of books.’

However, Schmidt-Friderichs said publishers forced to postpone or cancel new publications due to the lack of marketing opportunities ‘sends out an alarm signal as it endangers the literary and cultural diversity of our society’.


Category: International news