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Book sales are up

The book market is on the up and we all rediscover our love of reading, according to the Publishers Association.


Print accounted for £1.7 billion sales (up 4%) while digital was £418 million, up 24%.

The invoiced value of UK publisher sales of books, journals and rights/co-editions combined rose 2% to £6.4 billion in 2020. UK sales income rose 4% to £2.5 billion while export sales income remained unchanged year on year at £3.7 billion.

Whilst fiction, non fiction and children’s books all saw an uplift, educational publishers saw a downturn of 21%. However, academic publishing was up by 3%.

Stephen Lotinga, chief executive of the Publishers Association, said: ‘Publishing has proved incredibly resilient throughout the significant challenges of 2020. It is clear that many people rediscovered their love of reading last year and that publishers were able to deliver the entertaining and thought provoking books that so many of us needed.


‘Despite the positive overall performance of the publishing industry, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that it has been a particularly challenging year for education publishers and many smaller publishers. It has also been a hugely difficult time for many booksellers and authors whose livelihoods have been enormously disrupted.


‘With bookshops now able to reopen, and physical events returning, we are optimistic that people will soon be able to enjoy books together again. We need to harness this return to reading and build on the huge opportunity this presents to everyone.’

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