Book sales grew from January to March with prices rising compared to the same period in 2023

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Nearly three million books were sold in Portugal in the first three months of this year, an increase of 5.8% compared to the same period in 2023, despite an average price increase of 1.8%.

According to the Portuguese Publishers and Booksellers Association (APEL), nearly 2.961 million books were sold in the first quarter of this year (2,960,939), 5.8% more than in the same period in 2023, which represented a financial inflow of 42.26 million euros (42,260,298 euros), 7.6% more than in the first three months of last year.

APEL based itself on data provided by Gfk, an independent entity that audits and counts book sales throughout the year, which also reveals that the average price of a book this year, between January and March, increased by 1.8% to 14.27 euros.

With regard to points of sale, 70.2% of the books sold in the first quarter were sold by bookstores, while 29.8% were sold by hypermarkets. This is also reflected in the sales figures, as 79.5% of the total collected in the book market was shared by bookstores and 20.5% by hypermarkets.

By category, the most sought-after genre was children’s literature, with the highest number of units sold – 35.3% of the total – at an average price of 11.03 euros, which contributed 27.3% to total revenue, below the revenue from fiction and non-fiction sales.

In second place, in terms of units sold, is fiction, with a weight of 31.0% of the market, at an average price of 16.40 euros per book, achieving a figure corresponding to 35.6% of total sales.

Non-fiction books, which accounted for 30.1% of the units sold in this period, at an average price of 17.12 euros, obtained 36.1% of the total value of sales, which corresponds to the largest ‘slice’ of the market’s 42.26 million euros in this period.

The least representative genre – campaigns and exclusives – contributed 3.6% in number of units sold, 1% of the final figure, and the average price of these publications was around 4.03 euros.

In the first quarter of 2023, 2.8 million books were sold, for an overall market value of 39.31 million euros in that period.

In 2023 as a whole, book sales in Portugal grew by 5% in value compared to 2022, driven above all by the younger age groups and social networks, maintaining the growth trend recorded in the previous two years, albeit less marked.

The results of the first three months lead APEL to state that “the year begins with a quarter of positive evolution, suggesting cautious optimism” for 2024.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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