Baden-Baden, 17.10.2023

Global book market revenues up in 2023, thanks to rising prices

Earlier this year, GfK and NIQ merged to become the world’s preeminent consumer intelligence company. As a result, data from both GfK Entertainment, a subsidiary of GfK, and Nielsen BookData, a subsidiary of NIQ, has combined to give an unparalleled view of the global book market. Their latest book market report shows across 16 countries an increase in turnover for the majority. 

The global book market recorded a rise in revenues in many markets in the first eight months of 2023, but this was accompanied by much higher prices. According to the 16-country analysis, the gains ranged from single figures in economically strong sales territories such as France (+1.3%) and the UK (+1.8%) to considerable increases in the emerging book markets of India (+8.7%) and Mexico (+10%). Revenues were only down in four countries, including Australia (-1.9%) and South Africa (-0.2%).

Falling unit sales in three-quarters of the countries surveyed 

Average prices for books increased in the Belgium region of Flanders (+8.7%), South Africa (+7.6%), Brazil (+6.1%) and the UK (+5.7%) most noticeably between January and August 2023, but the actual quantity sold went down in three-quarters of the regions surveyed. Here, too, countries such as India (+6.4% in volume) and Mexico (+4.2% in volume) were the exception. The study also found that fiction largely outperformed non-fiction or “how-to” titles, with fiction books generating a higher revenue growth in ten of the 16 countries.

Revenues up 5.1% in Germany 

In Germany, which was considered separately in the data evaluation based on the half-year figures from Consumer Panel Services GfK, revenues jumped by 5.1% compared to the same period last year. This was mainly due to the 2.6% rise in average prices, which, when taken into account, means actual sales increased by 2.4%. 

Travel books booming, comic books sales trend over for the time being 

Travel guides were again in demand in the post-Covid year 2022, and there has been no let-up in this trend. Travel books are booming and are one of the fastest growing categories in 2023. Half of all 16 book markets surveyed even reported double-digit revenue growth for this category. Comic books, especially Manga, on the other hand, have faced a heavy downturn after enjoying a strong performance in recent years, with figures of -10.9% recorded for Spain and -9.1% for Italy.  

Prince Harry’s memoir a world bestseller  

A glance at the international bestseller lists reveals the growing importance of social media communities like those on BookTok. One of this community’s best-known authors, Colleen Hoover, has made it into the top 5 in ten countries with her bestsellers It Ends with Us and It Start with Us. Biographies are also very much in demand, especially Prince Harry’s Spare. The memoir from the British prince was among the top five best-selling non-fiction titles in 12 countries in the first eight months of its year of release. In the UK, Ireland, Italy and the Belgian region of Wallonia, Spare was the most popular book overall. Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt by the late Lucinda Riley and her son Harry Whittaker was the most successful title in New Zealand, the Netherlands, and the Belgian region of Flanders.  


About the study

The study is based on physical point-of-sale data from January to August 2023 for Australia, Belgium (Flanders/Wallonia), Brazil, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland and the UK. In the case of Germany, the half-year data from Consumer Panel Services GfK were used.

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

If you are interested in further data and information, please contact and

Media contact: Hans Schmucker, Tel: +49 7221 279 200,


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