In 2015 the 28 countries that are members of the EU and EEA (European Economic Area) generated €22.3 billion ($23.36 billion) in total annual sales, according to a new report by the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) issued last week. The number is up slightly from 2014, when total revenue was €22 billion. The sum covers academic/professional, education and consumer trade books.
Germany had the highest overall sales, followed by the U.K, France, Spain and Italy. The report notes that “total market value” is estimated at €36-38 billion, a figure "that represents the value of sales at cover price, including VAT and retailer discount, whereas the net turnover is the turnover of publishers, once VAT and rebates are discounted," said Enrico Turrin, deputy director of FEP Federation of European Publishers.
Approximately 575,000 new titles were published by EU and EEA publisher in 2015, adding to the 22 million titles already released by publishers. The report also noted that four million titles are available in digital formats, a number which the report said “has been spiked by the surge” in digitization of backlist, increased use of print-on-demand, and the introduction of more self-published titles. In all, consumer trade books represent half of the revenue generated by the overall market (48.4%), with children’s books representing 12.2% and education and academic/professional titles taking 19.9% and 19.5% respectively
Exports accounted for 22.9% of revenue for EU and EEA publishers in 2015 and were valued at €5.1 billion ($5.4 billion), a hike of nearly 3% from 2015 and partially attributable to exchange rate differentials. Various sales channels showed declines, including book clubs and direct sales. In addition, the report noted that e-book sales, which it pegs at 5-6% of total revenue, “showed signs of stagnation” though offered no additional date or context.
The report states 125,000 people are today employed directly by the publishing sector, though this number balloons to as much as half a million when one includes ancillary occupations, such as printers, booksellers, authors, designers and others.