background
to BML
market
reports
market
data
links

trade
directories
subscribers
only

Sizing the UK Book Market


1. Total UK Book Market Value

The Publishers Association estimate the total value of the UK book market at retail prices (i.e. taking into account sales of all types of books, through all sources), by basing estimates on data collected through an annual survey of its members. Responses are received from publishers accounting for c77% of estimated industry turnover, who show their home and export sales in broad categories.

The data for UK publishers' home sales are grossed up to retail price using average total gross margin figures (i.e. based on the difference between the price paid to the publisher and the final retail selling price, and where possible taking into account direct sales, discounting, etc).

These grossed-up figures represent estimates of the total UK book market. The latest published figures from the PA show this at 3,115m in 2010(Source: PA Statistics Yearbook 2010, Publishers Association).

2. Value of the UK Consumer Book Market

The UK consumer book market can refer both to sales of what are defined by publishers as 'consumer books', and to purchases of books by consumers (i.e. the general public).

2.1. Consumer book sales

The PA splits the total market (3,115m in 2010) into three broad categories (consumer, school/ELT, academic/professional), based on grossing up to retail price publishers' sales in these categories, using average total gross margin figures for each.

The grossed-up figure for the consumer book category represents total UK sales of consumer books, which the PA showed to be 1,693m in 2010. (Source: PA Statistics Yearbook 2010, Publishers Association).

Table 1 UK book sales at retail value 2010

m

Consumer

1,693

School/ELT

475

Academic/professional

947

Total

3,115

Source: The Publishers Association


2.2 Consumer expenditure

Books & Consumers data show that in 2010 consumer spending decreased to 2,201m, a value decrease of 2.9% from the equivalent previous year, while purchasing decreased 3.6% to 342.6m units.

Table 2. Consumer book market 2010

 

Volume

Value

 

m

% Change vs 2009

m

% Change vs 2009

Adult

249.9

-2.0

1763

-2.7

Children's

92.7

-7.7

437.4

-3.7

Total

342.6

-3.6

2201

-2.9

Source: Books & Consumers 2011, BML Bowker/Kantar Worldpanel 2011

3. Consumer Books: Purchase Sources 2010

 Sources

 Volume %

 Value %

 Chain Bookshops

30.3

37.5

 Independent Bookshops

4.5

5.4

 Bargain Bookshops

8.1

 3.7

 Supermarket

13.6

 10.0

 Other retail

11.2

7.7

 Direct Mail/book club

6.1

6.3

 Internet-only retailer

26.1

 29.5

 Total Books

 100

 100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Books & Consumers 2011, BML Bowker/Kantar Worldpanel 2011

BML TwitterFollow BML on Twitter

Bowker is a limited company, registered in England. Company no. 2461630.  Registered office: Crankbrook House, 287/291 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 7JQ