Key trends in the global book market at Frankfurt Book Fair

Every year, the Frankfurt Book Fair is one of the largest gatherings for the international publishing world and for the second year in a row, Nielsen’s Book team is collaborating with the fair to present key trends in the global market.

Nielsen BookScan operates in 10 territories around the world—U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Italy, Spain and Brazil—and that number will soon climb to 11 with Mexico launching later this year. Nielsen Book is therefore well positioned to provide rich market data and interpretation of global publishing trends that are invaluable to the global book business.

“The Frankfurt Book Fair is proud to work with Nielsen and to provide a platform for the largest gathering of the international publishing community to access this kind of critical information,” said Thomas Minkus, the Frankfurt Book Fair’s vice president of Emerging Media & English Language Markets.

We’ll be looking at the global picture of growth in key English-speaking territories both year-to-date and in the last 12 months. The main headline for these regions is the strength of the European territories. In particular, Ireland’s volume sales have grown 8.8% in the last 12 months, and all of the Top 10 publishers in Ireland are showing growth, year-on-year, 8 of those 10, showing double digit growth through Nielsen BookScan Irish Consumer Market.

This year, Frankfurt is also hosting a pre-fair conference, The Markets: Global Publishing Summit. The conference will focus on 7 key territories*, 3 of which—the UK, Spain and Brazil—have a Nielsen BookScan print sales panel. So what are the trends in these markets?

In Brazil, print book sales are down 3.5% for the last 12 months, with declines in the top 2 genres: Fiction and Adult Non-Fiction. However, sales of Children’s titles are up 3.9%, with large sales of the translated Little Prince pushing the title to the top the genre’s chart.

The U.K. and Spain print sales are up 6.2% and 0.9%, respectively. Spain’s largest category, Children’s, is up by 0.7% thanks to international bestselling author Jeff Kinney and the perennial favourite Asterix. The U.K. growth has been focused in the country’s two biggest genres, Children’s and Non-Fiction.

The Non-Fiction category, in particular, has been reinvigorated recently thanks to some trends that have had a global reach. In 2015, colouring books for adults reached phenomenal success in most territories, with some titles placing at or near the top of the charts for the year. In 2015 and 2016, the U.K. has seen a new take on cookery books with a strong drive for healthy cooking, at times combined with exercise. In fact, if it were not for the reappearance of a certain wizard in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the U.K.’s top-selling book of the year so far would be Lean in 15: 15 Minute Meals and Workouts to Keep You Lean and Healthy, selling 850,000 copies in nine months.

Looking to other territories, only Ireland and Australia have also had a top 10 ‘healthy’ cookbook. New Zealand’s top-selling cookery title was all about homemade food, while in Brazil, the top book of the year is a guide to a healthy and balanced diet inspired by God.

You can hear Andre Breedt, Director of Nielsen Book Research, discussing the key trends in the global market place at 2pm on October 18th on the Analysis Stage in Hall 4.0. Click here for details.

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