European Book Publishing Statistics 2010

The present survey is based on reports from the national book publishing associations, and on further analysis and refining of data, for the year 2010. Figures on the overall economic significance of the publishing industry refer to net publishers’ turnover, i.e. the publishers’ total revenues from the sales of books, not the total market for books (margin of booksellers or other retailers). They also do not account for revenues in terms of selling rights for translation, audiovisual adaptation, etc. In some cases, only data on market value wasavailable; in such cases, average discount rates were applied to calculate an approximation of net turnover. Figures were rounded conservatively.

The total annual sales revenue of book publishers of the EU and the EEA in 2010 was approximately € 23.5 billion, according to the survey conducted by FEP. This represents an increase from the last estimate of € 23 billion for 2009, although such increase was to a significant extent only nominal, due to changes in exchange rates. The largest markets in terms of publishers’ turnover in 2010 were Germany, followed by the UK, France, Spain and Italy.

A total of about 525,000 new titles were issued by publishers in 2010. The figure was taken from different sources, some of which included new editions or non-commercial titles, and was accordingly rounded conservatively. There was therefore an increase of an estimated 2% in the title output from the previous survey. European publishers held a total of close to 7.5 million different titles in stock, the countries reporting the largest availability being the UK (3.4 million), Germany (around 1.2 million), Italy (almost 700,000), France (around 600,000) and Spain (over 400,000). The countries reporting the largest new titles output1 were the UK (151,969), Germany (84,351), Spain (42,300), France (40,021) and Italy (36,856).

According to the report, a total of approximately 135,000 people were employed full time in book publishing in 2010, an amount basically equal to one year earlier. Beyond the individual figures, it can be noted that up to 2007 there was a clear growth trend both in terms of turnover and of titles output. In 2008 title production kept growing whilst turnover, adjusting for exchange rates effects, experienced what was predominantly a flat year. 2009 showed a slight decrease in turnover (once the exchange rate effect had been accounted for) and a slowdown of title growth. The crisis has therefore had less of an impact on publishing when compared to most other sectors (and within the sector, a stronger impact on exports). In 2010, the trend was reverted and growth resumed (especially exports), although favoured by exchange rates. This analysis relies on the examination of more detailed data from a number of members that represent well over 80% of the total turnover and title production.

FEP statistics 2010 - Press release

For further information: Enrico Turrin, +32 2 770 11 10 -