A recovery in the publishing industry is looming

Emotions are evident within the Spanish-speaking publishing industry. During much of 2020 and at least during the first quarter of this year, the commercial chain of books around the world, especially in our language, had declines in its sales that put essential links in the market such as bookstores against the ropes and independent publishers, as this newspaper has been reporting throughout the health impasse.

But the emotions are not discouraging now. The optimism of those preparing for the physical reunion with the public is perceived in the great event of letters in the Spanish language, the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL Guadalajara), which had no alternative last year and emigrated all its programming to virtual format.

Starting this Saturday, November 27, and until next December 5, FIL Guadalajara will once again be that great market and meeting of ideas that detonates the most favorable period of the year for the book industry, where the higher sales and it is confirmed if the market had a chance to grow or, as in the case of last year, was able to recover some of the detriment caused by the most acute period of restrictions, which left a gulf of approximately -30 percent.

But, in numbers, how does the publishing market reach this final stretch of the year? How capable have you been to recover from last year’s detriment?

According to the Nielsen Bookscan Services agency in Mexico, which has an estimated reach of 80% of the country’s points of sale, until week 44 of the year, that is, the first of November, the volume sale was 13 million 697,002 physical copies compared to 10 million 555,005 at the same time in 2020, that is to say that so far this year the results from the volume of physical book sales are favorable by 29.7% compared to the previous year.

Some of the key points of this recovery lie in weeks like 15, in mid-April, with the sales report of 279,084 copies, compared to 103,674 for the same period in 2020, that is, with a recovery of 169%; and week 21, the last of May, with a sales report of 334,421 copies compared to 144,071 last year, with a recovery of 132 percent.

Now, in terms of value, the results until week 45 of the year total 3,326 million 401,305 pesos invoiced which, compared to the terms in value that until week 45 of 2020 yielded 2,404 million 801,263 pesos, results in a recovery until the 38% moment for book sales between the first year of the pandemic and the current one.

It is even slightly older than 2019

During his participation in the Publishing Industry Forum “Post-pandemic: present and future 2021”, organized by the National Chamber of the Mexican Publishing Industry (Caniem) a couple of weeks ago, David Pemán, regional manager of Nielsen Bookscan Services, stated that “The results that we have, the truth that are quite positive. At this time in 2021, according to what we have accumulated for the year in the 11 countries where we are measuring sales in the publishing markets, we are having strong sales that exceed the falls that occurred in some countries (…) in the Latin markets. , like Spain, Mexico and Italy, we do register falls in 2020, but at the moment we are registering growth higher than the falls ”.

In the specific case of Mexico, he declared, the growth of 2021 compared to the same period of 2019, the year prior to the health and economic crisis, the growth so far is 2% in units and 13% in value. This variation between units and value, he explained, “is one of the peculiarities of the publishing market in Mexico” and responds to the gradual increase in the average price of the book, which since 2019 has been close to 40 pesos.

“And yes, there has been a very great advance in the penetration of e-commerce, but, from what we see, it has added, there has been a profound advance, but it has not cannibalized the sales of the physical book but has been added”, added.

Despite all this positive scenario, the recovery of the 30% deficit in the general market last year, that is, the one registered by Bookscan and the one registered by Caniem, will hardly go back this year.

There is excitement and optimism among those preparing for the physical reunion with the public at the great event of letters in the Spanish language, the Guadalajara International Book Fair.

[email protected]


Leave a Comment