The book market in Italy increased by 13.3 percent during 2019

The 2022 Report from Italian Publishers, presented in Venice at the Morey School, shows gains during the pre-pandemic era, amid market shifts.

The president of the Association of Italian Publishers Riccardo Franco Levi, left at the table on stage, prepares his annual report on market statistics to the 40th anniversary of Scuola per Librai Umberto e Elisabetta Mauri, seated in the Cini Foundation’s Salone degli Arazzi on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice in San Giorgio Maggiore Island in Venice. Photo: Perspectives Publishing, Porter Anderson

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @tweet

Levi: The Italian Publishing House maintains and supports

as fortieth annual Scuola per Librai Umberto e Elisabetta Mauri– The “School of Booksellers” in Morei, has reached its closing conference sessions today (January 27) on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, Italian Publishers Association (Association Italiana EditoriAIE) released its promised detailed report for 2022 on the state of the Italian market.

Riccardo Franco Levipresident of both AIE and European Publishers Association in Brussels Publication Perspectives About the “huge investments” made by the Association of Publishers in the field of industrial statistical research.

He then proves this with a detailed and graceful report confirming that Italy ranks sixth in the book publishing market in the world after the United States, China, Germany, the United Kingdom and France, and the fourth largest in Europe, with the United Kingdom still a market in Europe.

One of the most interesting high-profile looks at European markets shows us that the European arena, including post-Brexit, accounts for 59 percent of the international market, with six of the ten publishing groups having European bases.

The 38.3 billion figure that you see in this slide image comes out to about 38 billion US dollars. Image: Association of Italian Publishers, AIE

Keep in mind, of course, that these groups include Penguin Random House, whose parent company Bertelsmann, is third on this list.

As provided for Our preview Of this 40th edition of the Morey School Program, Levy’s stated high points included the following:

  • In 2022, the Italian market experienced a decrease in fictional and real sales revenue of 2.3 percent compared to 2021. However, when viewed compared to 2019, these segments collectively grew by 13.1 percent.
  • By unit size, there was a decrease of 2.4 percent compared to 2021 and a similar gain, 13.3 percent, from 2019.

Today’s most comprehensive report included several highlights:

  • Book sales made in physical bookstores, online, and through major retail chains sold 1.67 billion euros ($1.7 billion) at cover price, 112.6 million copies, down slightly (-2.3 percent) over 2021 and 2019.
  • Compared to 2021, however, the year before the onset of the devastating crisis COVID-19 pandemic In the case of the outbreak in Italy, that year’s 2022 numbers put an impressive 13.1 percent higher than 2019’s value numbers and 13.3 percent higher in unit sales.

President of the Association of Italian Publishers and the Association of European Publishers Riccardo Franco Levi at his presentation 2023 Umberto and Elisabetta Mauri School, hosted by journalist Giovanna Zucconi. Photo: Perspectives Publishing, Porter Anderson

“Italian publishing is holding together and holding together compared to before the pandemic,” Levi told the Morey School audience at a session hosted by journalist Giovanna Zucconi in which he presented AIE and Nielsen BookScan data. But the market has to face new challenges.

“Faced with double-digit inflation weighing heavily on family budgets,” Levy said, publishers kept book cover prices stable. But growth in paper and energy costs is drastically squeezing margins, putting the most fragile operators in the supply chain into crisis, such as small publishers and independent bookstores.

“These are problems that need to be addressed now that the government and parliament prepare to discuss new policies for the book sector.”

Publication Perspectives Readers already know One area in which such changes are progressing Meloni’s system has barely kept the country’s innovative and widely admired €500 ($531) youth app in Italy for this year, but only with a newly forked structure coming in 2024.

Audio books, e-books down

While many who travel to Italy might think of its artistic and archaeological treasures, music, cinematic achievements, and even cuisine, the market’s business, educational, academic and professional book publishing industry is in fact its leading cultural sector in terms of public spending, according to the new report from AIE. Image: Association of Italian Publishers, AIE

In more points revealed by the aforementioned research today:

  • Audiobook subscription value increased from €24 million ($26 million) in 2021 to €25 million in 2022 ($27.1 million) in 2022, an increase of 4.2 percent.
  • However, the e-book market fell 8 percent, going from €86m to €79m ($93.3m to $85.7m).

Image: Association of Italian Publishers, AIE

  • Online and retail chains saw sales decline, according to the new report, in 2022, while physical bookstores benefited slightly, with sales of €889 million (US$964.4 million), an increase of 1 percent. Much of this modest growth of physical bookstores was seen in chain stores, train stations and airports, benefiting from resumption of footfalls after lockdown.
  • Publishers found this gain could not offset online sales, with digital channel sales down 5 percent to 705 million euros ($764.5 million) and major retail chains falling an alarming 10 percent to 77 million euros ($83.6 million). million US dollars).

Of particular note are publishing industry guests, speakers and executives from global markets outside of Italy, as Levi and the Publishers Association report seeing an interesting broadening of their book market – a healthy trend for consumers to support more offerings from bestseller lists that might tempt them.

For example, the 100 best selling titles in 2022 in Italy accounted for just 8.1 percent of total market activity in hardcover value, and 7.1 percent in unit sales.

  • New releases in 2022 are up 8 percent compared to 2019. Catalog offerings jumped 18 percent in 2022 compared to 2019 offerings.
  • As in many of the global markets that our international specialization focuses on, in 2022 Italy saw some declines in general non-fiction sales (8.6 percent) and professional literary works headed for a further decline (12.3 percent), with fiction making comfortable gains ( 4.9 percent).
  • In the fantasy numbers, it was determined that comics grew by a whopping 8.6 percent, non-Italian literature by 7 percent, and Italian literature by 4.9 percent.

Image: Association of Italian Publishers, AIE

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Image: Association of Italian Publishers, AIE

In a quick recap of the issues centering on Italian publishers at the start of 2o23, these concerns are key:

  • The effect of inflation and the rising cost of living on Italians’ spending
  • Industry-wide, rising costs, paper and energy, can significantly reduce margins and positioning
    Particularly fragile operators such as independent bookstores and small publishers are at risk
  • The general direction of the market is increasingly dependent on the decisions made by the largest player in the market
    Retail sector
  • New book policies are under consideration by the new Georgia Meloni government and parliament
  • The impact of piracy, especially on non-fiction and commercial publishing

Publication Perspectives She has more coverage ahead than Scuola per Librai Umberto e Elisabetta Mauri, which featured an especially strong list of speakers and participants this year upon its return to a physical production in Venice.

This coverage will also, of course, indicate the profound impact of January 11, death of Achilles Moreywho was central to the program’s first 39 years and was president of the Messaggerie Italiane group.

More perspective on publishing in Italy and its book publishing industry here. More on Riccardo Franco Levi hereMore about selling books here And more us on Scuola per Librai Umberto e Elisabetta Mauri is here. More from us on the impact of the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – making this the first time in three years that the UEM program has been able to take its usual seat in Venice – is here.

About the author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow at Trends Research & Advisory and was named International Business Journalist of the Year at the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards. He is the editor-in-chief of Publishing Magazine. He was previously Associate Editor of The FutureBook at The Bookseller, London. Anderson has been a senior producer and anchor for, CNN International and CNN USA for over a decade. As an arts critic (National Institute of Critics), he has been with The Village Voice, The Dallas Times Herald, The Tampa Tribune, and now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, an authors newsletter, which is now owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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