The UK publishing market led the world in terms of the number of new titles published relative to population size in 2013, as well as in 2013 export revenue, according to new figures from the International Publishing Association (IPA).
The IPA's annual report shows that UK publishers released 2,875 new titles per million inhabitants, more than 1,000 titles ahead of the nearest nation, Taiwan. In absolute figures, 2013 saw the UK publish 184,000 new titles and re-editions, the highest figure in Europe, with only the US and China publishing more, with 304,912 and 444,000 titles respectively.
Publishing in the UK also performed well when compared to rest of the world in terms of overall revenue, with a net revenue in 2013 of £4.7bn, remaining the same size as in 2012, without any overall decline. It joins the US and Germany as a market which did not shrink, while other nations such as France (-3%), Italy (-6%) and Spain (-10%) all saw their values drop. Some markets, especially in Asia, saw growth, with South Korea (up 2%), China (9%) and Indonesia (16%) all seeing a rise, as well as New Zealand (6%), Mexico (3%) and Brazil (8%).
The UK also has the largest exports market, despite a decline since the previous year of 4%. Export revenues for UK publishing were €1.5bn, ahead of the US at €1bn (a rise of 7.2%) and Spain at €331m (a fall of 5%).
Richard Mollet, chief executive of the Publishers Association (PA), said: "There are a number of factors behind this world-leading performance. As well as the advantage of the English language, British creativity, innovation and historic strength in publishing all play their part. British publishing is a central part of the success story of our creative industries and this performance shows that the UK’s legal and commercial environment – notably our copyright laws – continue to be the underpinning to strong economic performance.”
The IPA figures also show that internationally, publishing is the largest entertainment business, with an estimated value in US dollars of $151bn, putting it ahead of the film business at $133bn, and magazines at $107bn.
IPA president Youngsuk Chi said in the report that in an economy industry being changed by digital progression, it was vital for publishers to emphasise their value. He said: "Digital migration has been the trend of the decade, but it has accelerated over this past year. Issues like the Amazon dispute over e-book prices, the HathiTrust v. Authors Guild copyright case, and the increasing number of OA initiatives around the world are posing new questions for publishers in the digital age. During this time of immense change, our role as publishers remains ever important, but increasingly difficult to understand. It is therefore our responsibility to communicate the value of publishers to society."
Secretary general Jens Bammel also commented in the report on the ongoing conversation about Amazon's impact on publishing. He said: "It is the role of publishers associations to stand up for our ideal of an open, competitive, online book selling environment; where authors can publish themselves or partner with the publisher best suited to develop and market them, where consumers have a choice between different retail channels and even ways of consuming content, and where publishers can be assured that the value they add will be compensated by the consumers who benefit from it. The book industry is right to be wary of Amazon… But we should also be inspired by Amazon."