In 2017 the 29 member countries of the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) generated €22.2 billion ($25.3 billion) in total sales, according to a new report issued yesterday. The figure is up slightly from 2016, when sales were €22.3 billion. The sum covers academic/professional, education and trade books.

"Discounting the exchange rate effects [the drop in value of the British pound], 2017 can be considered the third consecutive year of growth, something that had not happened since the start of the economic crisis in 2008," the report said.

Europe's biggest markets in terms of sales were Germany, the U.K., France, Spain, and Italy. Sales of e-books now represent 7% of overall sales.

Approximately 610,000 new titles were issued by publishers in 2017, up from 590,000 in 2016. The report attributed the bump in output to a new method of accounting for titles, as well as a "surge in digital publishing (in different formats), the digitization of back catalogues, the growth of print-on-demand services and the surge in self-published titles (mainly in the U.K.)."

The FEP estimates 130,000 people were employed full time in book publishing in 2017 and the entire book value chain (including authors, booksellers, printers, designers, etc.) may employ more than half a million people.