April 18, 2021

Batacazo del libro digital en Cataluña: published titles fall by 67.8% | Culture

Batacazo del libro digital en Cataluña: published titles fall by 67.8% | Culture

The Federation of the Publishers Guild of Spain (FGEE) has published the accounts of the volume of books published in Spain in 2018 and There is no good news for the digital format. According to the figures, only in a year they have stopped publishing almost 8,500 electronic titles, as it is registered in the ISBN (agency that grants a 'registration' to each published work). In 2017 the digital book reached the record number of its popularity, with 27,394 titles published, after living, in 2016, the year of takeoff, with 23,061. Then came 2018 and the dream burst: 18,951 titles, a drop of 30.8%.

This digital descent causes the global figure to also retract and go from 87,292 titles, in 2017, to 76,181, in 2018. It is 12.7% less. This does not mean that the market for novelties in bookstores has been regulated with greater production control. The reduction only affects the digital part, not the paper, which remains in its thirteenth, despite the usual complaints of booksellers to overproduction. Literature was the favorite discipline in 2017, accounting for 17.7% of the published, and in 2018 17%. The novelty has not yet been put to regime.

In the FGEE they do not have an answer to what happened last year for the digital ISBNs to sink in this way. Adventure that may have had to do with a rebound of the digitalization of the catalog of large publishers, which after a few years of recession and prudence were put to work to buy digital rights and put them on the market. However, they fail to understand what has happened.

In fact, the most striking fact of all that reveals the ISBN is that linked to the two great capitals of editorial production. On the one hand, Madrid, where 26,995 titles were contracted, almost 800 more than in 2017. In digital, it decreased from 8,508 to 7,980. But in Catalonia the difference of the total figure is abysmal: from 30,438 it is passed to 17,508 titles. In digital is the key, where they fall from 11,737 to 3,781 titles. A 67.8% collapse. This data adds more mystery to the case of the stumble of the digital book. And it does not help to contrast it with the figures of 2016, when 5,737 digitals were published in Catalonia. So, why did the figures skyrocket in 2017? In the FGEE they are still looking for an answer with the people in charge of the ISBN, to try to find out which were the publishers that produced the most titles in 2017. Because the editors' representatives point out that it could be the answer to a mass digitization campaign of thousands of titles in catalog by a strong publishing group, with a high investment, but with a one-year action plan exclusively.

From the Spanish Confederation of Booksellers' Associations and Associations (CEGAL) they launch another hypothesis: perhaps we are before the puncture of the bubble of the self-published book. "There has been an overproduction in self-publishing, a very attractive formula for those who want to publish their own book on their own or through companies that produce and market it. Maybe this market is saturated ", indicate the sources of CEGAL. That market denies it. Bubok is the company that bought the most ISBN in 2018 and its director, Serio Mejía, rejects the publication crisis without editorials. "In fact, it could be said that there is an upturn. The traditional ones, such as Penguin and Planeta, have opened their own self-publishing stamps, "he explains. Both Bubok and its competitors have their headquarters located in Madrid and digital figures in that community have decreased just over 600 titles.


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