UK Publishing – a mostly positive picture

UK publishing houses have had their best year overall; but textbooks have taken a massive hit.

The Publishers Association Yearbook has reviewed publisher revenue records for 2017. The total revenues of £5.7bn represent a 5% overall revenue increase.  This increase was driven by a growth in exports, which now account for 60% of UK publishing revenues.

Educational publishing

  • Domestic sales of school textbooks declined by 12%
  • Export sales of schoolbooks increased by 2%
  • Digital school book sales performed better than physical; UK sales income increased by 12%; export sales income increased by 93%
  • Total ELT physical and digital book sales are up 13% to £293m - with physical sales up 13% to £20m and digital sales up 13% to 20m.

Academic publishing

  • Physical and digital academic and professional book sales income is up 6% to £1.2bn
  • Journal sales income is up 5% to £1.6bn
  • Total income from Open Access charges is up 21% to £148m.

Other interesting findings

  • Sales of children’s books declined by 3%
  • Physical book sales continue to outpace digital; revenue increased by 5% to £3.1bn
  • UK sales of consumer e-books declined by 9%; fiction e-books declined by 11%; non-fiction e-books increased by 4%
  • Audiobook downloads continue to increase - audiobook download sales have more than doubled between 2013 and 2017
  • more than doubled
  • Export sales – Europe declined 3%; East and South Asia increased by 3%; North America and Sub-Sahara Africa declined by 1% each
  • Hardback fiction – revenues increased by 31%

Source: The Bookseller;