Bookstalls in Voronezh, Russia, May 2015. Image - iStockphoto: kul20

Russia’s Book Chamber Report: Market Fell 5.37% in 2015

In News by Eugene Gerden

Bookstalls in Voronezh, Russia, May 2015. Image - iStockphoto: kul20

Bookstalls in Voronezh, Russia, May 2015. Image – iStockphoto: kul20

By Eugene Gerden

According to data reported by Pro-Books.ru from Moscow’s National Book Chamber, the Russian book market fell from the previous year by 5.37 percent in terms of volume.

Established in 1917, the Book Chamber is charged with registering and tracking Russia’s literary titles, providing international identifiers (ISBN), library distribution and other services.

According to the Chamber’s statistics, the overall circulation of books and pamphlets published in Russia in 2015 came to 459,423 copies. The total number of titles published was 112,547—up 0.5 percent over the previous year—with books accounting for some 94,000 of those titles.

The circulation of new books fell by 7.06 percent, according to the Chamber. Some 319 titles are reported to have sold more than 100,000 copies in 2015 (340 titles in 2014).

Ebook Popularity Reported To Be Rising

A chart from the Deloitte 2012-2015 study of Russian media consumption, as carried by Kommersant.ru

A chart from the Deloitte 2012-2015 study of Russian media consumption, as carried by Kommersant.ru

A report from January 13 at Kommersant.ru cites a Deloitte study of 1,600 Russians suggesting that ebook adoption is up an impressive 31 percent since 2012, as interaction with other forms of electronic media also increases. Deloitte’s information, as reported by Kommersant, indicates a 9-percent drop in print.

Deloitte’s analysts reportedly recorded 88 percent of the study’s respondents between ages 16 and 19 saying that they have read ebooks.

The demand for reading among the Russian population reportedly remains stable, which has prompted bookstore chains to expand. For example, Chitai-Gorod, one of Russia’s leading book retailers, has recently announced plans to open new bookstores in the country in 2016.

A scarcity of bookstores remains one of the major problems of the Russian book market. According to data of the Russian Ministry of Culture and Education, during the Soviet times, there were more than 8,500 bookstores in Russia, by comparison to today’s number, between 1,200 and 1,300 stores.

Currently the Russian book publishing market is dominated by three largest players, EKSMO, AST and Olma Media Group.

Eksmo plans an expansion in the domestic market in the next several years. The company’s market dominance is a result of its acquisitions of other players. More buys are thought to be possible this year.

About the Author

Eugene Gerden

Eugene Gerden is an international freelance writer who specializes in covering global book publishing and bookselling industry.