UK publishing industry reports record-breaking year in 2022


The UK publishing industry had a “record-breaking year” in 2022, with a total income of £6.9bn.
A Year in Publishing, a look at the state of the book market by trade body the Publishers Association, found that sales were up 4% from 2021. In 2022, 669m physical books were sold in the UK, the highest overall level ever recorded.
The export market saw an increase of 8% in 2022, with £4.1bn in total sales. The UK’s biggest export was Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper, which was adapted for a hit Netflix show. A fifth book in the series is due to the be released later this year, and Oseman this month announced that there will be a sixth and final instalment, the Guardian wrote.
However, domestic sales were down slightly, by 1% to £2.7bn, with increases in print sales driven by the export market.
Rebecca Smart, chair of the Association’s consumer publishers council and co-CEO of DK Books, said that while it was “disappointing to see a modest decrease in overall sales at home, it is great to see fiction and audio doing particularly well as people continue to seek entertainment and discovery through books”.
Production costs for books have increased, largely due to the rising costs of paper and energy and the effects of Brexit. In addition, the cost of living crisis has also had an impact, with research finding that one in five parents and carers spent less on books for their children and that the people most affected by rising costs expected to reduce their spending on books, with up to 30% expecting to buy fewer books in the next year.
But Conway said 2022’s sales were “a testament to the timeless appeal of books; they offer comfort and escapism for readers, can be a good source of education and learning, and can last a lifetime”.
“With the cost of living crisis continuing, reading as a comfort for adults and to encourage creativity and learning in children must be cherished,” he added.

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