Exceptional growth in the book market, the protagonist of a formidable resistance, with an increase in sales that even goes beyond the levels of the pre-pandemic, and a greater propensity to read. In the first six months of 2021 in all sales channels, with some difficulties still for large-scale distribution, and in all genres there was an increase: from 4 January to 20 June they were sold in trade channels – that is, in bookstores. online and physical and in large-scale distribution, excluding schools – 15 million copies of printed books more (+ 44%) compared to 2020. Even more significant is the growth compared to 2019 which sees 11 million more copies sold ( + 31%).
Sales that have generated for the supply chain over 207 million euros more than in 2020 (+ 42%) and 156 million more than in 2019 (+ 28%), bringing the book market of these first six months to an overall value of 698 million euros.
This is the photograph that emerges from the analysis of the research office of the Italian Publishers-AIE Association on NielsenIQ data, presented on 13 July online on the AIE website by the head of the studies office Giovanni Peresson, with the intervention of the president Aie Riccardo Franco Levi.
“Contrary to what happened in other European countries, in Italy, in the most acute phase of the pandemic, people have rediscovered reading and today’s data confirm that there is still room for growth”, comments the Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini.
“Since the early days of the closures – explains Franceschini – the ministry has not lacked its commitment in favor of the publishing sector with a series of extraordinary support measures and a careful policy of refreshments. from a symbolic point of view the most significant was the decision to keep the bookshops open also in the red areas, thus recognizing their social value “. That “public policy has been far-sighted and has safeguarded the sector, first and foremost by allowing bookstores to open during lockdown periods and therefore by launching important measures to support demand whose virtuous effects are now under everyone’s eyes”. also the president of the IEA, Ricardo Franco Levi. “The book market at the moment is like a tide that, rising, lifts all the boats. The data draws an important growth that we have achieved with the great quality of the work of all the subjects in the world of the book. Even more important is that booksellers, publishers and librarians worked together, “says Levi.
Good results to which the 18App in particular contributed: in the first two months of 2021, 75 million euros more were spent than the previous year, which determined an even more positive trend in the first quarter. And a greater propensity to read and buy: 31% of readers said they read more than before and 25% of shoppers bought more books than before, while only 13% said they read or buy less.
As for the sales channels, independent and chain bookstores are growing, reaching € 332.9 million, thus overcoming the difficulties of 2020 and doing better than in 2019 when they were at 313.6 million. The online boom is confirmed, reaching 327.9 million euros in 2021, equal to 47% of the market, compared to 184.6 million in 2019 and therefore does not erode sales to competing channels but allows the market to take a shot forward. The situation of large organized distribution is more difficult.
All genres of books sold are growing uniformly, with some peaks including books on games and leisure, which have quadrupled sales (+ 302%), comics, which have tripled them (+ 214%), while they have almost doubled the political current (+ 99%), the literary criticism driven by the books on Dante (+ 94%) in the 700 / o anniversary of the death of the Supreme Poet and the biographies and autobiographies (+ 85%).
The average cover price stands at € 14.68 and is down by 1.6% compared to 2020 and 2% compared to 2019.
The top ten of the best-selling books in the semester, made up of a mix of novelties, long sellers and very different genres, sees in first place ‘The system’ (Rizzoli) by Alessandro Sallusti and Luca Palamara followed by ‘The discipline of Penelope ‘(Mondadori) by Gianrico Carofiglio and from’ The stories of the district ‘(Magazzini Salani) by Lyon Gamer. In fourth place ‘Changing the water to flowers’ (and / or) by Valerie Perrin, in fifth place ‘The winter of the Lions’ (North) by Stefania Auci, in sixth ‘As long as the coffee is hot’ (Grazanti) by Toshikazu Kawaguchi; at the seventh ‘The song of Achille’ (Marsilio) by Madeline Miller, at the eighth ‘I am Giorgia’ (Rizzoli) by Giorgia Meloni and at the ninth ‘A promised land’ (Garzanti) by Barack Obama. Closes the top ten ‘The lost sister’ (Giunti) by Lucinda Riley.
The 50 best-selling titles weigh on the total market for 7.7% at cover value and 6.9% at cover price.