Tag Archives: statistics

China is the largest book market in the world: together with USA, more than half of all titles published

2017-08-20

China has rapidly become the largest market for books in the world. Of all the 1.6 million new book titles published in 2015, 28% of them were published in China. The second largest market, the U.S., published 20% of new titles launched to the global markets in 2015.

The vast population of China, more than one billion, explains part of the success of books in the country, but it is not the whole story. India’s population is roughly at the same level as China’s population, but India is nowhere near China when the number of published books are considered.

China has very quickly developed from a primarily farming society into an industrial society that is rapidly turning into a new technology powerhouse. That requires masses of well educated engineers, managers, and marketers. Books are a great way to learn, and of course, be entertained.

Book statistics have been published by the International Publishers Association (IPA). The numbers come from publishers, and don’t include self-published titles.

Below a graph by Quartz that shows the number of new book titles published in each in 2015:

book titles published by country. Source IPA, graph Quartz
The relative importance of books, or how the society values books, in each society can be studied by dividing the number of citizens by the number of new titles. Now, the story is completely different. European countries rise on top. Top 10 of published titles per million inhabitants is all European countries, followed by the U.S.

UK, France, and Spain export plenty of books to other countries where English, French or Spanish is spoken, but why are Scandinavian countries so high in the top 10? Every Scandinavian country has its own language, making each market small. Book industry is a subsidized business in these countries. Authors may get allowances, translators may receive grants, and value added taxes for books are lower than for other products.

books published per million inhabitants by country, source IPA.

Vast majority of Europeans read at least one book a year, publishers claim

2017-03-24

The whole media industry, including books, is in fundamental transformation from traditional media to digital products. It is fascinating to follow how some parts of the world adopt new media products faster than other regions. Cultural reasons, traditions, legislation, and the book industry itself affect the pace of change. Many end-of-the-world scenarios have been presented for books that have to compete over audiences’ precious time with other media, like movies and music.

The Federation of European Publishers (FEP) has drafted a report on the state of the book business in Europe. It was published in March 2017, and one of its conclusions is that books are doing fine despite very competitive media landscape.

In many European countries, 60-80% of people read at least one book a year. Czech, Germany, Estonia, Luxembourg, Austria, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Norway having the highest share of book readers. There are some exceptions, of course, like Portugal and Romania, where residents have something else more worthwhile to do than to read books.

reads one book a year, Europe countries, by FEP
The trend that people are reading less can be seen in the statistics, but it is not the end-of-the-world kind of thing. The trend is somewhat inconsistent: Italy and Germany show an increase in the number of book readers.

The same survey reports that the number of brick-and-mortar bookstores in Europe has increased. At its peak in 2010, more than 32 275 bookstores stocked paper and ink on their shelves for customers. A rapid fall followed that bottomed in 2013 (26 766 bookstores). Since then, new stores have opened, and the number of bookstores in Europe is on the rise again.

Number of bookstores in Europe by FEP
Here is an interesting question: the number of bookstores is growing in Europe, the market share of ebooks is growing, but people read slightly less. How does it add up?

There are many ways to assess and measure how the book industry is doing. One of the most innovative analysts is Author Earnings that primarily tracks sales of large online bookstores, like Amazon, Apple iBooks, Google Play and Kobo. The February 2017 Author Earnings report indicates that 42% of all book sales in the U.S. comes from ebooks, and in the UK, ebooks are 34% of all book sales.

A report published in March 2017 by the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) states that the market share of ebooks in the UK is 17% (in 2015). That’s a huge difference: is the correct market share for ebooks 17 or 34 percent? Two factors may explain a big portion of the gap in numbers: FEP doesn’t include independent publishers and self-publishers in its statistics, whereas Author Earnings tallies up them as well. FEP gets most of its sales data from traditional booksellers, whereas Author Earnings tries its best to get accurate data from big online bookstores.

Plenty of bookstores per capita in Asia, and plenty of libraries in Europe

2016-08-05

World Cities Culture Forum collects culture related data from large cities across the world. The organization publishes the data annually as statistics that describe what kind of cultural services the cities have and how citizens use them. One of the published statistics compares the number of bookstores and public libraries against the city population.
FInnish National Library
The World Cities Culture Forum organization comprises 32 cities that collect and share data on the role of the cities in the future, services the cities provide, and how the cities are administered. The Forum only collects and publishes information on cities that are members of the organization. The participating cities are listed here.

As we can see in the table below, Asian cities tend to have more bookstores per capita than cities in other continents.

City Bookstores per
100 000 inhabitants
Year
1 Hong Kong 21 2014
2 Taipei 17.6 2014
3 Madrid 16 2014
4 Shanghai 16 2014
5 Toronto 13.9 2015
6 New York 10 2015
7 Sydney 9.4 2015
8 Paris 9 2015
9 Seoul 9 2015
10 Austin 8.2 2015
11 Melbourne 8 2015
12 Shenzhen 6.6 2014
13 Amsterdam 6 2014
14 Moscow 5 2014
15 London 4 2015
16 Stockholm 3.2 2014
17 Singapore 3 2014
18 Istanbul 1 2015

 

The number of libraries per capita is bigger in Europe than in other continents.

City Libraries per
100 000 inhabitants
Year
1 Edinburgh 60.5 2015
2 Warsaw 11.4 2014
3 Brussels 10 2015
4 Paris 9.2 2014
5 Seoul 6 2014
6 Shenzhen 5.9 2014
7 Vienna 5.9 2014
8 Hong Kong 4.2 2015
9 London 4.2 2014
10 Moscow 4.2 2014
11 Toronto 3.9 2015
12 Melbourne 3.4 2015
13 Amsterdam 3.3 2014
14 Sydney 3.3 2015
15 New York 2.7 2015
16 Taipei 1.8 2014
17 Rome 0.8 2014
18 Singapore 0.5 2014
19 Istanbul 0.4 2014
20 Dubai 0.3 2015

Readers adopted fiction ebooks quicker than non-fiction: Non-fiction ebook market has room to grow

2016-07-18

Book market statistics provided by publishing organizations are often quoted as the only authoritative numbers that reflect what is going on in the book trade. Many industry analysts have disagreed with these “official” numbers for years saying that they only represent a portion of the market: sales of big publishers. Especially, the emergence of digital books has brought a huge number of small publishers and self-publishers whose book sales is not tallied up in the statistics published by, for instance, AAP, Nielsen, or publishers’ associations in Europe.

An analyst who calls himself Data Guy (at Author Earnings) has discovered a way to collect data from ebook sales independent of which organization (or person) has published the title. He has created a system for extracting data from Amazon Kindle Store web pages. Therefore, all the statistics he can provide is from the US. Nonetheless, it is useful reference for ebook authors and publishers across the world because the US is the pioneer and the leading country in ebook business.

In July 2016, Data Guy gave a speech where he presented statistics specifically concerning romance literature ebook market in the US. The included data, however, has many valuable lessons for all authors and ebook publishers. Here are a few highlights from his speech.

author earnings: Slide07 july 2016

Source: Author Earnings.

In the US, non-fiction books has slightly over 50% of the print book market, and fiction slightly under 50%. In many European and Asian countries, non-fiction books have way larger market share from the print market. For instance, in Finland non-fiction print books had 35%, text books 35%, fiction 26%, and ebooks less than 4% market share in 2015.

Now, Author Earnings reports that non-fiction ebooks have only 12% market share in the US ebook market. Fiction dominates the ebook market with 88% share, and roughly half of purchased fiction is romance. Although we haven’t seen the ebook market in Europe segmented by genre, we believe the overall situation is roughly the same: non-fiction ebooks haven’t been adopted as quickly as fiction.

Yet, the potential to introduce something new to new generations of readers is in non-fiction and text books: digital media lets authors and publishers embed more attractive images, animation, photo galleries, interactivity and even moving pictures in books. You can view samples of this in Klaava Travel Guide titles.

author earnings, Slide12, july 2016

Source: Author Earnings

In the US, Amazon really dominates the ebook retail sales with 75% of title purchases going through the Kindle Store. Amazon UK has similar, some claim even stronger position, of the national ebook market, but elsewehere in Europe, other stores compete successfully with Amazon. For instance, in Germany Tolino is a major player in the ebook market. In Scandinavia, Adlibris and Storytel are big digital retailers (there is no Amazon store in Scandinavia yet, but Nordic citizens buy from Amazon.com if they want Kindle products).

It is still early days for digital books. The market developed quickly in English-speaking countries, primarily because of romance and crime titles. Fiction ebooks are replicas of print books. The big technical development is still to happen, and non-fiction and text books will drive the development. For instance, Amazon Page Flip is one of the early signs of things to come. It is a marvellous new feature for browsing non-fiction books.

Top 20 tourist regions in Europe: Spain, France, Italy have the most popular destinations

2016-01-20

Europe is the world’s number one tourist destination, but anyone who has traveled in the culturally rich continent knows how different the countries are. Which countries and which regions exactly are the most visited destinations in Europe? The European Union has vast databases of information on tourism that reveals interesting details where travelers like to spend most of their time.

This particular statistics from EU is calculated from the nights tourists have stayed in hotels, B&B, rental cottages and campgrounds. The number of nights is different than the number of visitors, because the number one destination Canary Islands (Spain) is likely to get at least seven nights per visitor because most travelers fly to the islands and stay there for one or more weeks. That’s why number two destination Ile de France (in practice, Paris) may get more visitors than Canary Islands but since they are likely to stay only a few nights in Paris, the number of nights doesn’t add up to the same level as in the islands.
europe most visited tourist places
Anyhow, the statistics show where tourists really like to spend time (and money), which means there has to be something special in the destination that gets millions of visitors travel there every year. EU has updated the statistics on July 3rd, 2015, but the actual numbers maybe older.

The total number is million nights spent by residents and non-residents in each destination. The blue bar shows the number of nights for hotel accommodation, green for holiday homes and the color of sand for campgrounds.

Top 20 tourist regions of Europe are:

1. Canary Islands, Spain.
2. Ile de France (Paris).
3. Catalonia. The province in Northeast Spain where Barcelona and the Costa Brava are located.
4. Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca).
5. Adriatic Croatia (Jadranska Hrvatska), the coastal region of Croatia.
6. Veneto, Italy. The region around Venice.
7. Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur, France. The region where Nice, Monaco, the French Riviera and the Southernmost Alps in France are located.
8. Andalusia, Spain. The province in southern Spain where, for instance, Sevilla, Malaga and Marbella are located.
9. Rhones-Alpes, France. The high Alps, and the city of Lyon in the valley of Rhone.
10. Inner London, UK.
11. Tuscany, Italy. Florence, Siena and other towns on the rolling hills of Tuscany.
12. Valencia region in Spain. For instance, Benidorm, Alicante and Torrevieja are here.
13. Emila Romagna, Italy. Rimini, San Marino, Bologna, Parma are some of the towns in the region.
14. Tirol, Austria. The province in the high Alps, Innsbruck is the largest town.
15. Languedoc-Roussillon, France. The province is bordered by the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean.
16. Lombardy, Italy. The region where the large lakes of Garda, Lugano and the city Milan meet the Dolomites mountain range.
17. Upper Bavaria, Germany. The region around Munich.
18. Aquitane, France. The province between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees from Biarritz to Bordeaux.
19. Lazio, Italy. The region around Rome.
20. Bolzano, Italy. The high Alps region in Italy.

If we look at the same statistical data and take into account only foreigners who have stayed in another country, the most popular travel destinations in Europe looks a bit different.
europe most visited tourist places, foreigners
Destinations that rise to the Top 20 when only foreigners are taken into account are: Crete (Greece), South Aegean Sea (Notio Aigaio, Greece), Salzburg (Austria), North Netherlands. Other destinations are the same as in the Total Top 20.

If you want to know where residents like spend their vacation in their own countries, here is a statistics for that as well.
europe most visited tourist places, residents

These Book Genres Are Trending

2015-02-04

Nielsen Bookscan collects book sales numbers from outlets and compiles them into statistics that give us a view what kind of books have been popular lately. If we take last year’s sales numbers and compare them with 2013 numbers, we can find out which genres were trending in 2014.

In 2014 in the US, three best-selling nonfiction book genres were religion, reference and general nonfiction.

Three trending genres in 2014 were self-help (+15% from 2013), biographies (+12%) and religion (+12%).

Three genres that were losing readers were humor (-13% from 2013), computers (-12%) and history/law/politics (-11%).

Here are the numbers (units in thousands).

  2013 2014 % CHANGE
Adult Nonfiction
Religion/Bibles 32,012 35798 12%
Reference 32,642 31989 -2%
General Nonfiction 29,509 28533 -3%
Biography/Autobiography/Memoir 20,425 22803 12%
Health/Fitness/Medicine/Sports 22,488 21574 -4%
Business/Economics 15,473 16604 7%
Cooking/Entertaining 15,363 15492 1%
History/Law/Political Science 17,080 15220 -11%
Self-Help 8,546 9848 15%
Crafts/Hobbies/Antiques/Games 8,314 8485 2%
Performing Arts 7,358 7706 5%
Travel 7,658 7417 -3%
Art/Architecture/Design/Photography 6,739 6984 4%
Humor 5,604 4897 -13%
Computers 5,311 4652 -12%
House & Home/Gardening 2,309 2130 -8%
Total Adult Nonfiction 236,833 240,130 1%
Adult Fiction
General Fiction 36,314 33524 -8%
Romance 34,585 30885 -11%
Suspense/Thrillers 22,161 20111 -9%
Mystery/Detective 14,884 14304 -4%
Graphic Novels 7,659 8669 13%
Classics 7,817 7578 -3%
Fantasy 8,615 7526 -13%
Religion 4,925 4174 -15%
Science Fiction 4,448 4142 -7%
Occult/Psychological/Horror 4,474 3329 -26%
Action/Adventure 2,619 2239 -15%
Western 2,088 2232 7%
Total Adult Fiction 150,590 138,712 -8%

 

Fiction books lost a lot of readers during 2014. All fiction genres, except for graphic novels and westerns sold fewer books in 2014 than in 2013.

Publishers Weekly reported.