Book publishing

Key insights at a glance


Global books revenue will rise by US$8bn over the forecast period. Global total books revenue is set to rise at a 1.3% CAGR to US$128.34bn in 2019, from US$120.13bn in 2014. Growth will be driven by India, which became the tenth-largest book market in 2014 and will see the fastest growth globally in total books revenue.


Consumer books revenue growth will be sluggish until digital gains greater scale. Global total consumer books revenue will rise at a CAGR of just 0.8% between 2014 and 2019, as traditional print/audio revenue continues to fall at a CAGR of -3.1%. But as consumer books electronic revenue growth increasingly comes from a position of greater scale, year-on-year increases of 1.3% and above are expected for total consumer books revenue towards the end of the forecast period.


Electronic consumer books revenue will see strongest growth in countries with high tablet penetration. Tablets will be key to the growth of global consumer, educational and professional books revenue, with the portability of the device enabling access to a wide range of books at all times. Countries with high tablet penetration such as the US, the UK, Singapore and South Korea will be among the first markets to see e-books’ share of consumer book revenue exceed 40%.


Print/audio revenue will fall across the board, but continue to make up more than 70% of total books revenue. In 2019, global total books print/audio revenue will stand at US$92.39bn, down from US$101.63bn in 2014, a decline of 1.9% CAGR. While print/audio revenue is declining across consumer, educational and professional books, by 2019 it will still account for the vast majority of global total books revenue, taking US$72 out of every US$100 spent.


Educational books growth will outpace consumer and professional books revenue. Between 2014 and 2019, global total educational books revenue will grow at a CAGR of 2.0%, exceeding the CAGRs of 0.8% for consumer books revenue and 1.6% for professional books revenue. Educational books will benefit from strong growth in digital and only a marginal shrinkage in print, with print books still being easier to share around a classroom and pass on to new students.


Markets investing in education will see the strongest growth in educational books revenue. Countries such as Nigeria and Peru will see the highest rates of growth in educational book revenue, at CAGRs of 7.1% and 8.0%, respectively, with governments spending more on such books in keeping with increased spending on education among their growing middle classes.

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