• Friday, June 21, 2024

UK Publishing Industry Breaks Records with £6.9 Billion in Sales in 2022

Print sales of consumer books increased by 2% to £1.8 billion, digital sales increased by 2% to £423 million, and audio downloads increased by 8% to £164 million.
on Apr 18, 2023
UK Publishing Industry Breaks Records with £6.9 Billion in Sales in 2022

The UK publishing business enjoyed a "record-breaking year" in 2022, earning £6.9 billion.

The Publishers Association's annual report on the condition of the book business, A Year in Publishing, reported that sales were up 4% from 2021. In 2022, 669 million physical books were sold in the United Kingdom, the greatest recorded total.

The export market increased by 8% in 2022, reaching £4.1 billion in total sales. The most successful British export was Alice Oseman's Heartstopper, which was made into a smash Netflix series. A fifth book in the series will be released later this year, and Oseman confirmed this month that there would be a sixth and final installment.

However, domestic sales fell by 1% to £2.7 billion, with print sales increasing due to the export market.

Print sales of consumer books increased by 2% to £1.8 billion, digital sales increased by 2% to £423 million, and audio downloads increased by 8% to £164 million. Fiction sales increased by 9% to £797 million, while children's books increased by 1%. Non-fiction suffered a 2% dip but still accounted for £1 billion.

While it was "disappointing to see a modest decrease in overall sales at home," Rebecca Smart, chair of the Association's consumer publishers’ council and co-CEO of DK Books, said, "It is great to see fiction and audio doing particularly well as people continue to seek entertainment and discovery through books."

According to Dan Conway, the publishing business has "shown strength in the face of what has been a difficult year for many and has again proven the vital role it plays amongst the wider creative industries, as well as building the UK economy."

Book production prices have risen, owing mostly to rising paper and energy costs and the consequences of Brexit. Furthermore, the cost of living crisis has had an impact, with research revealing that one in every five parents and carers spent less on books for their children and that those most affected by rising costs expected to spend less on books, with up to 30% planning to buy fewer books in the coming year.

Conversely, Conway said the sales in 2022 were "a testament to the timeless appeal of books; they offer comfort and escapism for readers, can be a good source of education and learning, and can last a lifetime."

"With the cost of living crisis continuing, reading as a comfort for adults and to encourage creativity and learning in children must be cherished," he said.

BookTok, the moniker given to TikTok's book community, has continued to "encourage many to reignite their passion for reading," according to Conway. Book influencers' activity would be "critical in ensuring that the industry remains buoyant."

A Year in Publications also focused on scholarly and educational publications. Educational publishing earned £634 million, a 16% rise over the previous year, while academic publishers earned £3.5 billion, a 3% increase over the previous year.
 

Image Source: Publisher Association 

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