7th May 2015
The invoiced value of UK publishers’ annual sales remained absolutely flat year on year in 2014, with a top-line total of £4.3bn, precisely the same as 2013.
The figure combines publishers’ revenues from both physical and digital editions and from journals’ income, and is revealed in the Publishers Association’s PA Statistics Yearbook 2014.
Beneath that top line, physical book sales continued to decline in value, down 5% to £2.7bn in 2014, with an 11% rise in digital book sales (to £563m) failing to compensate. Total revenue for combined physical and digital book sales dropped 2% to a total of £3.3bn, continuing the pattern set in 2013, which also saw a 2% fall according to PA data...
...Non-fiction and reference book sales also had a “challenging” year, noted Ebury m.d. Rebecca Smart, falling in value terms by 9%, which included an actual drop in e-book revenues (–2%) after four years of encouraging digital growth. However, this sector can claim that comparisons were skewed by 2013’s big seller, Sir Alex Ferguson.
As widely noted, children’s was exceptionally strong in 2014, with the yearbook reporting an 11% rise in sales of kids’ books (to £349m).
PA chief executive Richard Mollet said the overall picture was “steady as she goes”. He noted: “There is very little growth in the UK economy so or publishing to be on 0% [overall] is inkeeping with a still very fragile economy.”
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