Publishing sector

Record growth for the book trade in 2021

Turnover reaches €2.6bn in Spain after record increase in sales, yet data still below pre-crisis figures

1 min
Where is the publishing sector heading?

BarcelonaThe pandemic allowed "citizens to reconnect with reading," according to Daniel Fernández, president of the Spanish Federation of Publishers' Guilds. This reconnection helped the sector grow by 2.4% during 2020, but the taste for reading has grown even more throughout 2021. The data proves it: the book sector has grown by 5.6%, taking total turnover to just under €2.6bn, the highest increase in the 21st century.

"The number of print copies sold grew by 5.9%, reaching 174.10 million, and 13.49 million digital copies were downloaded, an increase of 1.7% on 2020," he comments. By sector, children's and young adult books have grown more than any other (17.8%), followed by adult fiction (8.2%) and non-fiction (7.7%). Textbooks are the only ones to fall: sales are down 3.8% on the previous year.

Far from the pre-crisis figures of 2008

The book sector is doing well, but the president of the Federation of Publishers' Guilds has recalled that, before the beginning of the 2008 crisis, it had reached a turnover of over €3bn, a figure that exceeds current data by over €400m. "The most important Spanish cultural sector in terms of turnover and social impact is the book sector. We help balance the Spanish trade balance and we are net contributors to State coffers," he recalls.

Fernandez attributes the decline in exports to "the restrictions on people and goods due to the pandemic". Sales have gone from €391.76m in 2020 to €388.91m in 2021, a 0.7% drop.