Boersenverein has announced its annual report on the state of local German book industry. The complete report won’t be up for sale until 4 August, but a few details were released in anticipation of the annual industry conference.
Total sales of books and journals were down 1.4%, to €9.2 billion. That marks the second year of a shrinking market. Growing online sales helped to ameliorate the drop, increasing by 6% to €1.6 billion, but were not enough to make up for the decline in bookstore sales, which declined 3.4% to €4.43 billion.
In spite of the decline, The Bookseller reports that the word from Boersenverein’s HQ in Frankfurt is one of optimism. “Publishers and booksellers have proven their ability to make the best of structural changes, find new ways and invest wisely,” said managing director Alexander Skipis.
Despite the decline, bookstores still made up the single largest sales channel, with a 48.2% market share. Online sales continue to run a distant second place with a 17.4%market share , up from 16.2% last year.
The growth of online sales was helped in part by ebooks, which made up a modest 4.5% of the German book market in 2015, up from 4.3% in 2014. Most of those ebooks (85%) fiction. eBook sales were up 4.7% in value, and 9% in volume, indicating a lower average retail price. The estimated number of ebook buyers remained flat at 3.9 million, with about 63% of them identified as female.
image by Ines Njers