Book sales in Italy up compared to 2019

Italian book sales up 13% last year over 2019

Business Culture News

The Italian publishing industry sold €1.671bn worth of books in 2022, an increase of 13% over the pre-pandemic year of 2019, but down 2.3% on 2021.

Book sales in Italy were up some 13% last year over 2019, the Italian Publishers’ Association (AIE) said Friday.
Some 112.6 million copies were sold in 2022, 13 million more than in 2019, the AIE said, with sales worth 1.671 billion euros. This was 13.1% up in value over 2019 and 13.3% for number of copies. It was 2.3% down in terms of value on 2021, and 2.4% down on the previous year in terms of copies, the AIE said. 

Origin of Books Sales in 2022

The majority of book sales took place in physical book stores, though not to such an extent as in 2019.

In the last pre-pandemic year (2019), 64% of book sales were through physical book stores as opposed to online. The pandemic changed buying habits with book purchases dropping to 51% in physical stores as people were subjected to lockdowns. Whilst there was a small recovery in 2022, up to 53.2% purchased in physical bookstores, and the number of book stores increased, the increase was not so great.

Graph showing comparison of book sales at physical book stores v onlone v major retail chains.

Average cover price of a book

During 2022, the average cover price of a book remained exactly the same as 2021 at €14.84. This was down 0.9% compared to 2019 when the average cover price was €14.97.

The number of books published in 2022 was down on 2021 by 10.5% with 76,575 hitting the shelves compared to 85,551 in 2021. Published book numbers, however, were up on 2019 by 3.8%.

In comparison, e-book publications dropped considerably in 2022. The number of e-books published in 2022 was 35,200 compared to 49,313 in 2021 (28.6% drop) and 48,763 (27.8% drop) in 2019.

Related article: most beautiful libraries in Italy

Most popular genres

Fiction and comics grew in popularity in 2022, whilst non-fiction titles were less popular. Comic sales grew by 8.6% compared to 2021, and foreign and Italian fiction grew by 7% and 4.9% respectively. On the downside, non-fiction titles dropped by 20.8% compared to 2021.

However, when compared to 2019, every single genre has increased in value market share.

Top 10 Book sales of 2022

The most popular book sales in 2022 were romance novels, with 3.3 million copies sold. The number sales went to Fabbricante di Lacrime by Erin. Doom.

The full top 10 is:

  1. Fabbricante di Lacrime, E. Doom
  2. Il caso Alaska Sanders, J. Dicker
  3. It Ends with Us. Siamo noi a dire basta, C. Hoover
  4. Violetta, I. Allende
  5. Rancore,G. Carofiglio
  6. La Canzone di Achille, M. Miller
  7. Le ossa parlano, A. Manzini
  8. Mussolini il capobanda. Perché dovremmo vergognarci del fascismo, A. Cazzullo
  9. Il rosmarino non capisce l’inverno, M. Bussola
  10. Finché il caffè è caldo, T. Kawaguchi

Leave a Reply