The statistics have been revealed in the Publishers Associations’ PA Publishing Yearbook 2017, which records publishers’ invoiced sales. This year the revenue gained from co-edition, rights and licensing sales has been included to give a more accurate reflection of earnings and help to underline the sector’s position as a “powerhouse of the creative industries,” according to PA c.e.o. Stephen Lotinga.
Altogether total book sale income (physical and digital) was up 4% in 2017 to £3.7bn. Physical book sales continue to outpace digital, with revenue up 5% last year to £3.1bn, while total digital sales income including journals rose 3% to £1.8bn. However, stripping out journals, digital book sales are down by 2% to £543m and consumer e-book sales are down even further by 7% to £191m. In the domestic consumer market e-book sales dived even deeper, down 9% to £139m and within that fiction e-book sales were down 11%, although non-fiction e-books were up 4%, showing that consumers are increasingly reading cookbooks, illustrated and reference books on devices. The figures mean consumer e-books account for 35% of the invoiced value of UK publishers’ digital sales in 2017, down from 51% in 2013.