Baden-Baden, 07.03.2024

Global Book Market 2023: Revenue growth in many countries despite major challenges

GfK Entertainment and Nielsen BookData have presented their first joint global annual report. The analysis shows revenue increases in three quarters of the 16 countries examined. This was accompanied, however, by much higher prices.

The global book market concluded 2023, despite various crises and challenges, with a revenue increase in many places. These are the findings of the first joint annual report from GfK Entertainment and Nielsen BookData. Overall, 12 of the 16 countries recorded revenue growth, including eight countries in Europe. Both France (+1.5 percent) and the United Kingdom (+1.2 percent), as well as Italy (+3.4 percent) and Spain (+4.6 percent), reported gains. The book markets of India and Mexico ended the year with growth rates of +7.1 and +11.4 percent, respectively. Only four regions, including Australia (-2.1 percent) and New Zealand (-5.4 percent), ended the period from January to December 2023 with a decline in revenue.


Higher prices compensate for lower sales

Unit sales decreased in nine of the 16 markets analysed, but at the same time average prices were significantly up, particularly in the United Kingdom (+6.6 percent) and in Brazil (+7.7 percent). Out of all the countries included in the analysis, only Australia registered a slight drop in prices (-0.4 percent). The significant influence of the rising average prices for the overall market performance in compensating for the sometimes notably decreasing sales volumes is particularly evident in South Africa: although the country recorded the largest sales losses (-7.7 percent), it also reported the most significant price increases (+9.6 percent), resulting in an overall revenue increase of +1.2 percent.


Travel guides, health books, and biographies are booming

Travel guides and health books were among the categories with the highest growth rates. Both saw double-digit growth rates in nearly half of the countries analysed. English literature (as a foreign language) and biographies, such as Prince Harry's Spare, also gained in prominence. The memoir of the now American-based British royal family member was the best-selling non-fiction book overall in Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Wallonia. James Clear's step-by-step manual Atomic Habits became the most popular non-fiction title in India, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and Colombia, for which book data were collected for the first time in 2023.


Comic sales declining, but new Asterix performed strongly

Other global bestsellers in 2023 were romance novels such as Colleen Hoover's It Ends with Us, and finance books like Morgan Housel's The Psychology of Money. The comic segment mostly experienced losses, although some titles, like the new Asterix, stood out positively: Asterix and the White Iris was the best-selling book in France and Wallonia; it also secured top positions in Switzerland (second place) and the Netherlands (third place). 



About the study

The survey is based on physical point-of-sale data from 2023 for Australia, Belgium (Flanders/Wallonia), Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, and the UK.


The results, together with the press release and additional information, can be downloaded at


If you would like further data or information, please contact:

Hans Schmucker:

Hazel Kenyon:


About GfK Entertainment

GfK Entertainment is a supplier of charts and market research data to the Books, Games, Music, Video and Merchandising industries. It works closely with the relevant industry bodies and currently carries out market research in over 30 countries. GfK Entertainment is part of GfK.

For more information, visit


About Nielsen BookData

Nielsen BookData provides a range of services to the book industry internationally, aiding the discovery and purchase, distribution and sales measurement of books. Nielsen BookData is responsible for the ISBN and SAN Agencies for UK & Ireland as well as providing search and discovery services for booksellers and libraries. Its Research services provide retail sales analysis for both print and e-books alongside research from the Books and Consumers Survey. For publishers Nielsen BookData offers a range of services from assigning an ISBN to a book to adding metadata to its database and providing promotional tools to help market books.

The company is wholly owned by NIQ. For more information, visit



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