The Spanish Publishers Association (FGEE: Federación de Gremios de Editores de España) has presented in Madrid a preview of the big figures of the Spanish book market during 2021. The report has been carried out with the collaboration of the publishing companies associated with the FGEE. The number of associated publishers is 778 companies.

In the period studied, the total production of books in Spain reached a total of 79,373 titles, which represents an increase of 6.4% compared to the figures for 2020.

Of these titles were published:

  • Print books: 55,197
  • Digital books: 24,176

This means that there has been an increase of 8.9% in the edition of printed books and 1.2% in the case of e-books.

198.13 million copies have been published, which means 9.3% more than the previous year. The average print run for each title is 3,590 copies. Therefore, the average print run is practically the same as in the previous year (0.4%).

The trend shown by the market over the last five years is that of an increase in the number of available current titles in publishing catalogues (with an increase of more than 21%), compared to a certain decrease in the total number of printed copies (with a reduction of just over 9% in the last five years).

Turnover in 2021 for the sale of books in the internal market was 2,576.70 million euros, 5.6% more than in 2020. However, it has not yet been possible to recover the 2011 figure -2,772.64 million euros- which implies that turnover has dropped by 18.1% since 2011 (prices constants). However, this figure for 2021 does represent the consolidation of an upward trend over the last ten years.

The very large and large publishing companies have billed 63.4% of the total billing.

The corresponding amount of that turnover figure that refers to the sale of printed books is 2,432.41 million euros. A total of 174.10 million copies have been sold, which is 5.9% more than in the previous year and 11.1% in the last five years. The average circulation in 2017 was 3,995 copies, compared to the average circulation in 2021 of 3,590 copies.

Of course, the average circulation varies a lot depending on the subject matter of the books:

Adult fiction                 3,879 copies

Children and youth       5,735 copies

Nonfiction                    2,585 copies

Comics                         7,035 copies

The case of (non-university) textbooks is striking in terms of the average print run: 3,090. This low figure is due to the great fragmentation of the Spanish market, due to the fact that publishers must publish a different school book adapted for each region for each subject.

The turnover in paperback format increases in 2021, which is 3.5% more than in 2020, reaching 104.33 million euros. A total of 13.75 million copies have been sold in this format (2.0% more than in the previous year). The resulting average price remains stable at €7.59 (€0.11 more than in 2020).

In 2021, a total of 134.79 million euros was the turnover corresponding to the sale of books in digital format. The sale of books in digital format increases again.

The average price of print books in 2021 was €13.97.

Regarding the distribution according to marketing channels:

  • Bookstores and bookstore chains continue to be the main channels for book sales, representing 1,388.11 million euros, 53.9% of the total turnover in Spain.
  • One more year, the increase in sales of print books via the Internet (+23.9%) and electronic books (+6.8%) stands out. This shows that the trend of the previous year is reinforced.

 Copyright payments increased to 217.7 million euros and from the sale of rights 24.3 million euros enter.

All this information will be available in greater depth and detail when the FGEE publishes its annual report “Comercio interior del libro en España”.