The PA Statistics Yearbook 2013

Value of publishing

The PA Statistics Yearbook provides the authoritative analysis and measurement of publishing activity for the ninth year running. This edition contains significant new development. For the first time, we have sought to capture the sales data of academic journals from UK‑based publishers. This is not a straightforward undertaking, as the truly international nature of the publishers and of their journals makes it difficult to accurately ascribe revenue on a by‑territory basis. Nevertheless, we have succeeded in developing an agreed metric, and with the engagement of several of our leading serial publishers have arrived at the figures, for both 2011 and 2012.


  • Total physical and digital book sales down 2% to £3.4bn
  • Total digital book sales up 19% to £509m
  • Digital share of combined physical and digital value book sales up to 15%
  • Total physical book sales down 5% to £2.9bn
  • Home sales of physical books down 6% to £1.6bn
  • Export sales of physical books down 4% to £1.3bn
  • Export share of total value sales of physical books up to 44%
  • Total journal sales up 4% to £924m
  • Gross receipts from rights and coeditions down 16% to £149m
  • Share of total output on paper from known sources up to 95%

The value being created by British publishers and measured here is the aggregate of the work done by 27,000 employees in the huge range of roles in publishing.

Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association

Our thanks to Nielsen Book Research, who 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 (Penguin Random House), and to Nicholas Clee, the publication’s consultant editor.