Earlier this month, PW offered a look at the latest reporting from the Federation of European Publishers, which found that "roughly half the countries we track are growing, half are in decline,” according to Enrico Turrin, deputy director of the FEP. Now, the same news has been confirmed by the latest Global Bookselling Markets Report, published by the European and International Booksellers Federation.

"We can observe two distinct trends across the globe," wrote the authors of the report, which is based on reporting from 16 countries across Europe, as well as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico New Zealand, and the United States. "Half of the analyzed markets experienced a clear decrease in book sales last year, while the other half reported stability and, in some cases, a positive development in turnover."

The authors attributed this trend to two main factors, writing: "On the one hand, the exceptional circumstances in 2021: after months of closure, bookshops reopened, boosting sales to a 10-year high, especially at Christmas. Thus, if 2022 sales data still display some positive and encouraging results, they appear very modest when compared to the preceding year. On the other hand, the inflation rising throughout 2022 and the energy crisis, partly caused by the outbreak of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, has limited readers' purchasing power, as well as pushed up production costs within the sector."

The biggest sales increases in 2022 were in the Netherlands, where sales at bookstores, which remained closed through the 2021 holidays, were subsequently up 27%. They were followed by Mexico, up 21.8% over 2021, and Portugal, up 16.2%. France and the U.S. had the most dramatic drops in sales, falling 6.5% and 6%, respectively, from 2021 to 2022.

Post-pandemic recovery continued in 2022. Two-thirds of those surveyed reporting that n-store bookstore sales, as opposed to online ordering, proved the strongest growing channel for the year.