With Mexico’s biggest book fair, FIL Guadalajara, well under way, news comes that ebook sales are up and print down.
The revelation came at a press conference at which the National Chamber of the Mexican Publishing Industry, CANIEM, announced full 2017 figures and 2018 estimates for book production and sales.
CANIEM President Carlos Anaya Rosique said book production in 2017 was 134 million units, down 2.2% on 2016, with educational books making up 60% of sales and 50% of revenue, lamenting that the country should be looking to expand other sectors.
Mexican book production was higher than this though, because the CANIEM numbers did not account for books produced by CONALITEG (National Free Textbook Commission) which added 159 million units (up 19 million on 2016), taking total Mexican printed book production to 294 million.
Of course, production and sales are two different things. The bad news was 2017 was the worst year for private sector book sales in five years, at 136 million units.
Via PublishNews ES
Ebook sales, however, were up 21% – at which point we should bear in mind this is just ebook sales from the mainstream publishing sector reporting to CANIEM and will not include ebooks from self-publishers or from many small presses that sell on Amazon, Apple, Kobo and Google Play and through smaller domestic ebook outlets.
Nor will these numbers include imports.
Porter Anderson reported on the Latin American book import situation yesterday over at Publishing Perspectives. A must read report.
But I’ll limit myself here to the Mexico numbers.
According to the Federation of Publishing Guilds of Spain Spanish publishing houses in 2017 sold over 13.5 million books worth $65.8 million to Mexico.
While Mexico led the Spanish exports to Latin America, Argentina and Brazil were not far behind.
As trans-Atlantic distribution improves so we can expect Spanish exports to Latin America to increase, in all formats, driven by social media.
And we can be sure that, both for domestic sale and for exports, the Mexican book market values, by excluding the small press and self-publishing numbers (because the numbers simply aren’t available), will be higher than CANIEM is reporting.