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2021. Italian publishing towards growth between 11-16%

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The Italian publishing (fiction + non-fiction) could close the year with a sales growth between 11% and 16%, with a turnover (sales at cover price) between 1.6 and 1.7 billion EUR. In 2019, sales were 1,487 million, 1,470 in 2020.
These are the data communicated in October by the Italian Publishers Association (Associazione Italiana Editori) during the Turin International Book Fair, according to the periodic market analysis made in collaboration with NielsenIQ.
The projection was obtained adding to the result of the first nine months the sales value from 2019 (for the most prudent estimate) and 2020 (for the most optimistic).

Sales growing

In the first nine months of 2021, sales in the fiction + non-fiction book sector amounted to 1,037 million euros, with a growth of 29% on 2020 and 16% on 2019. The number of copies of books sold is 72 million, up 31% on 2020 and 18% on 2019. In fact, the average cover price has lowered and is now equal to 14.35 euros (-1.9% on 2020 and -1.7% on 2019).

Physical bookstores are the preferred channel again

After being overtaken in 2020, physical bookstores are back to selling more than online bookstores, which confirms their importance after the pandemic. Bookstores sales are at 499.9 million (362.5 million in 2020), against the 479.1 million of online bookstores (383.4 million in 2020), and the 58.1 million of mass retail channel (57.9 million in 2020).

“Old” books drive sales

In 2021, sales of books from previous years grew more than the novelties: + 19% against + 12%. In these months, the ranking of best-selling books contains significantly titles published in 2019 and 2020, to dispel the myth that a book “resists” on the market for only a few months.
This is a significant fact that shows how publishing is changing, also due to the growing importance of online bookstores, where the entire catalog of a publisher is practically always available.