Publishers Association half yearly figures show physical sales continuing to rise


New figures released today by the Publishers Association show that while overall book revenues remained steady in the first half of 2016 physical book revenues continued to rise, indicating that the UK’s renewed love of printed books may be here to stay..

The figures also show:

  • Sales of physical books increased by 1% to £898m from January to June 2016 , driven by a 6% increase in physical consumer book sales. This continues a rise in the sales of print books which was seen in 2015 for the first time since the invention of the e-book.
  • Digital revenues fell by 7% to £182m. However digital revenues for education and English Language Teaching were strong, increasing by 32%. Academic/professional digital revenues were also up by 9%.
  • Export revenues dropped slightly by 1.5% to £465.5 in the first six months. Digital exports meanwhile rose by 7%.
  • There was particularly strong growth in non-fiction/reference books, where sales rose by 13.3% to £281.2m.
  • Physical and digital school book sales were up by 7% and children’s sales rose by 5%.
  • Audiobook revenues continued to grow, with downloads increasing by 24% to £6m.

Stephen Lotinga, the Chief Executive of the Publishers Association said: “Last year we saw the first sign that the UK’s love for print is far from over. Today our half year results show that this was not a one off phenomenon.

“Publishers are increasingly using digital tools to make content more adaptable, personal and accessible than ever before. But there is a unique pleasure in reading a physical book, and these figures show that consumers are finding that this is not something digital books can easily replace.

“These figures confirm the success of the publishing industry, particularly as a strong exporter. At a time of uncertainty following the vote to leave the European Union, it is clear that the publishing industry has an important role to play in the UK’s post-Brexit future.”