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15 January 2020

Book Barometer second half of 2019: E-book subscriptions continues to grow

CB released the new book barometer for the second half of 2019. Compared to 2018, the overall market will fall slightly (-1.9%). The share of e-commerce has grown (+5.6%). The number of e-book subscriptions also continues to grow.

Compared to a year ago, total sales of physical books have shrunk slightly by -1.9%. The share of online sales of physical books is 5.6% higher than a year ago. E-book subscriptions increase over the last 12 months by 55.3% compared to the whole of 2018.

In the chart Sales in channels by genre, there is one genre in which e-book sales have the largest share: romance. Physically, the genres travel, children and YA remain the most popular. In B2B, these are management books.

The chart trends in prices show that the physical book is becoming more and more expensive over the years. Looking only at the last quarter, the price has risen from €13.71 (in 2008) to €16.49 (at the end of last year). That is an increase of €2.78, or: a physical book has become more than 20% more expensive.
Seen in the Orderer 60 over the whole of 2019, the average price is €20.78. The top 10 has an average price of €21.48. The books in places 11 to 20 have an average price of €24.24. The best-selling books are even more expensive than the average price of a physical book.

Print on demand


In the development of Print on demand (books on demand digital printing) we see a considerable increase in the short print run (higher print runs via Print on demand). The single copy production (very small print run) decreases slightly by 0.8% compared to last year.

Download the Bookbarometer in English in JPEG

Download the Bookbarometer in English as PDF