March 1, 2021

The price of books in Spain fell by 6.06% in 2017 | Culture

The price of books in Spain fell by 6.06% in 2017 | Culture



The average book price in Spain fell by 6.06% in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to data from the Overview of the Spanish edition of books, published by the Ministry of Culture based on the official figures provided by the ISBN. On paper the price increased by 1% and was in other formats, essentially digital, where it fell by 23.7%. This puts the average price at 18.63 euros (compared to 19.80 the previous year) which leaves it at levels similar to those of 2012, when it fell 20% to 18.47 euros. The decrease is significant in the medium-sized publishers (29.8%), offset by an increase of close to 30% in the large ones. The small ones lower the prices by 4.9%. 43.3% of the offer remained below 10 euros and 39% was between 10 and 20 euros.

This data is accompanied by another not necessarily positive or negative, but it does show the vigor of an industry that contributes 0.8% of the GDP of the Spanish economy and 33% of the corresponding to cultural activities: production increased by 4.6% last year compared to 2016 to be 89,962 books registered and cataloged in all categories. The increase is 1.2% in paper and 12.7% in the electronic edition, which is consolidated over 30% of the total (31.6%).

It is important to take into account another table of the report prepared by the Ministry of Culture, which indicates how large publishers have returned to the path of increasing titles offered for sale. If in 2016 these large publishers inscribed in the ISBN 19,257 titles, in 2017 they were 23,261, that is, a growth of 20.8%. Against this, the medium publishers maintained an increase of 0.6% and the small ones of 0.1%. The president of the Federation of Publishers' Guilds (FGGEE), Daniel Fernández, acknowledged it last July at a press conference: "It is clear that the Spanish publishing sector has published too much", referring to the data of 2017, published for your association.

The report itself draws attention to the 18% increase in the production of literary creation titles in 2017. Narrative grew by 22.8% and poetry by 13%. The only decrease in production is that of classical literature, 35.6% less. In the detail, the commercial bet for more novel titles is confirmed: in 2013, 11,632 new narrative titles were declared; in 2014, 11,415; in 2015, 10,587; in 2016, 11,922; and in 2017, 14,640 new titles.

A polarized sector

For some time now, the sector has begun a process of business concentration that accompanies the one that already exists in the territory. Thus, 63.4% of books published in Spain are produced in Catalonia (34.2%) and Madrid (29.3%). The big acquisitions and the dispute between the Random House and Planeta groups over the Spanish market have resulted in an increasingly polarized panorama. According to data from the Ministry of Culture, 4.9% of publishers brought to the market 57.3% of books, a percentage that grows with respect to 2016, when 4.8% of publishers published 54.6%. %.

The large publishers publish 57.3% of the books that appear in the bookstores of this country, but they are only 0.9% of the companies that are dedicated to book publishing. The sector makes a total of 2,200 million euros a year and is composed of more than 2,600 publishers, as indicated by the Federation of Publishers' Guild, which notes the same trend in its latest study. There are 596 small companies that do not reach the 13% of total turnover of the sector and are 82% of the companies in the industry. As the report itself points out, year after year, there is "a consolidation of the concentration index of production". This supposes a reduction of the diversity of the production of the cultural product.

In Spanish and translated from English

The study of the Ministry of Culture indicates the increase in the weight of the translation of foreign languages, which in 2017 represented 17.9% of the total titles published (13.2% in 2016). In narrative, the incidence is higher: they represented 25.4% of the books published (the previous year they were 23.3%). English is the most translated language, followed by Spanish and French. The Autonomous Communities that published most literary works were those of Catalonia (33.3%), Madrid (28.5%) and Andalusia (18.8%). And a curiosity: "The average number of pages of the books was 243. 50.8% of the offer was made up of books of 200 pages or less". The digital book edition accounts for 31.4% of production

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