In The News – Articles Of Interest For Authors
While we celebrate the indie publisher here at Publetariat, we still like to keep an eye on the publishing world. I am just glad for every author’s success! The Bookseller‘s editor, Philip Jones, breaks down the Publishers Association annual market report for those who are interested.
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E-books: a twist in the tale
If the book market made sense it wouldn’t be so much fun. This week we are celebrating a 0.4% rise in physical book sales and an 11% drop in consumer e-book sales.
Today the Publishers Association releases its annual market report, The PA Statistics Yearbook that tracks the invoiced sales figures for all the major publishers in 2015. There are plenty of known knowns: physical book sales were up (just about), digital content sales were down (just about). Print fiction sales were up; digital fiction sales were down. Colouring books and vlogger books supercharged non-fiction.
The tone set by the report is upbeat. The UK publishing industry is in good health. It’s little wonder that everyone seems so cheery: print is back, digital did not kill us. The mood at the British Book Industry Awards on Monday evening was one of huge optimism and celebration. There is relief too (particularly as 2016 has got off to such a strong start) but also a sense of a sector thumbing its nose at all of those who have talked down publishing for the past half-decade.
There are still some that think traditional publishing is about to fall off a cliff: but if so they should pay particular attention to these statistics. The percentage changes may be small, but the significance is not. The digital transition has not been straightforward, but neither has it eroded sales. The digital market was in its infancy in 2009 when UK publishers recorded home sales of roughly £1,950m. In 2015 the equivalent number is £1,890m. A net loss but not a huge one, and more than made up by growth in export sales over the same period. In total UK publishers generated sales of £3.3bn in 2015, a nudge ahead of 2009’s pre-digital figure of £3.2bn.
Publishing may yet be hit by all sorts of body blows, but digital so far has not been one of them.
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