Friday, 2 September 2011

UK Publishing

Snippets from Lloyd Shepherd’s article (but please check out the Guardian 30th august and read the whole thing. It’s well worth it.

“Ten years ago in 2001, 162m books were sold in Britain. Ten years later – a decade in which the internet bloomed, online gaming exploded, television channels proliferated, digital piracy rampaged and, latterly, recession gloomed – 229m books sold. So, a 42% increase in the number of books sold over the last 10 years.

The standard discount on the recommended retail price of a book in 2001 stood at 17.6%. In 2010 it was 26.7%.

Last year UK consumer publishing drew in sales of £1.7bn, up 36% on 2001. Adult fiction saw an increase of 44%, to £476m; and young adult and children's fiction, realm of all those pesky copiers and pirateers and downloaders, saw sales more than double to £325m.

Up to the week ending 13 August (2011), overall sales were down almost 6% on 2010 in volume terms, and just over 4% in value." (He says these figures don't include e-books)

"In May this year, Amazon announced that, for the first time, it was selling more Kindle versions of books than paperback and hardbacks combined, and (here's the thing that doesn't get quoted so often) sales of print books were still increasing.

The average cost to the consumer of an adult fiction book in 2010 is only 30p less than in 2001. That figure will be higher when inflation is accounted for, but it's not slashed-and-burned; it means a fiction book still sold for £6.11 in 2010, on average.

in Amazonia, Kindle versions of new books are outselling hardback versions - at similar prices.

authors are not seeing a sudden collapse in their incomes. The Society of Authors did a survey in 2000 that showed the average annual figure was £16,600; only 5% of authors earned over £75,000; 75% earned less than £20,000. A more recent survey, done by the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society, came up with very similar figures.

Membership of the Society of Authors passed 9,000 people for the first time since the Society was formed in 1884." (This confirms what I've thought for a while now - that a lot more people are trying to get published. It's a depressing thought. I wonder what the figures were when Heyer and Plaidy ruled the book world?)

"There has been a steady increase in the number of book titles published in the UK, from almost 110,000 in 2001 to just over 150,000 in 2010." (I wonder how many of those are self-published, and how many are e-books?)

1 comment:

Dean Crawford said...

I too read the piece, Jen, and after reading so many negative stories about the state of publishing it was refreshing to learn that, yet again, the doom and gloom is more to do with mass media than anything factual. Maybe we're not all redundant after all...