The PA Statistics Yearbook 2012

Value of publishing

The PA Statistics Yearbook, now in its eighth year, is the authoritative analysis and measurement of book publishing activity in 2012. The Yearbook aims to delineate the direct value generated by publishers as expressed through revenues to the companies’ bottom lines and through unit sales.


  • Total physical and digital sales up 4% to £3.3bn
  • Total digital sales up 66% to £411m
  • Digital share of combined physical and digital value sales up to 12%
  • Total physical sales down 1% to £2.9bn
  • Home physical sales down 1% to £1.7m
  • Export physical sales down 1% to £1.2m
  • Export share of total physical value sales remains at 41%
  • Gross receipts from rights and coeditions up 30% to £178m
  • Returns rate in value up 1% to 11%
  • Share of total output on sustainable paper to 92%

Our thanks to Bowker Market Research, which were responsible for the compilation and analysis of sales data on books and digital products, and Roger Watson, for the data on publishers’ income from rights and coeditions in this yearbook. Many thanks too for the individual contributions of those who have written the annual and sector reviews and the exchange rates appendix, to Nielsen BookScan for providing assistance and data to help in the yearbook’s compilation, and the participants of our various statistics schemes.

Finally, thanks for all the help with this project to our Yearbook Production Committee, chaired by Mark Gardiner (Random House Group), and to Nicholas Clee, the publication’s consultant editor.