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19 November 2018

Latest PA figures show that 2016 was a record year for UK publishing

28 April 2017

UK Books and journals

Figures released on 27 April 2017 by the Publishers Association show that 2016 was a record breaking year for the publishing industry in the UK with sales of books and journals reaching £4.8bn, their highest ever level.

The increase in sales of 7% on the previous year is the largest growth in a decade, when in 2007 digital was first included. 

Industry growth has been fuelled by success both home and abroad, with export sales rising by 6% to £2.6bn and now responsible for 54% of total revenues.

Highlights include:

  • Overall digital sales up 6% to £1.7bn despite a continuation of the drop in eBook sales down 3%
  • Physical sales up by 8% to £3bn on last year rising to the highest level since 2012
  • Europe remains the largest export market accounting for 35% of exports

Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, Stephen Lotinga, said:

 "UK Publishing is a world leader and these figures confirm that the industry is flourishing due to the hard work and ingenuity of its superb publishing houses and workforce.

 "All of us have at some point in our lives enjoyed the work of a great author, used a high quality textbook, or benefitted from the sharing of academic literature and that is only possible due to the continued success of the publishing industry.

 "Whatever the makeup of the new government, they must ensure that any post-Brexit trade settlement it reaches with the EU and other countries reinforces this continued success."

For more information, see the PA website.


Scottish books and journals

No separate figures are available for Scotland, but our Chief Executive Marion Sinclair is quoted in Alastair Dalton's article in The Scotsman of 28 April 2017 saying:

"Many of our members have seen a welcome uplift in print sales in the past year and a dipping of e-book sales. "Overall, there's buoyancy and confidence in the market."

Marion also mentions several member and other publishing companies in Scotland.

Jamie Byng of  Canongate Books in the same article said:

"It is gratifying to see such strong book sales. We've had particular success with books that have Scotland running through their veins, such as Amy Liptrot's The Outrun, of which we've already sold 70,000 copies. Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain has sold 47,000 since we published it in 2014. With her appearance on the Scottish £5 note, it's wonderful to see sales increasing year on year."

Jan Rutherford of Birlinn and Marc Lambert of Scottish Book Trust are also quoted.