Brazilian Book Market Grows to Nearly $2bn, Led by Growth in Trade and STM

In Growth Markets by Maria Fernanda Rodrigues

For expanded coverage of the Brazilian book market, visit our new site and newsletter — PublishNews Brazil — powered by Publishing Perspectives.

By Maria Fernanda Rodrigues, PublishNew Brazil

The Brazilian publishing market continues to exhibit modest growth. According to the most recent figures released by the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Publishers Union (SNEL), the total market was calculated as being worth US$ 1.94 billion in 2009, a rise of 2.13% compared with the previous year. Government purchases represented 25% of the total earnings, with the majority of these purchases — some US$ 401 million — going for K-12 textbooks. In 2009, publishers produced 52,510 titles. This total can be split between 22,027 new editions (a jump of 15% over 2008) and 30,483 reprints. At that time, 386 million units were printed, of which 154.4 million were new editions. In all, there were some 370 million units sold.

Brazilian book production

These recent figures derive from a study by Fipe (Fundação Instituto de Pesquisas Econômicas). Information was collected from 693 publishers, with revenues varying from US$ 574 million to US$ 29 million per year, and representing 78% of the publishing market. The next round of statistics are expected to be released in August.

The sales figures for 2009 are considered respectable. Actually, since 2006 the number of units sold continues to grow: 310m (2006), 329m (2007), 333m (2008) and 370m (2009). Most segments show improvement, with trade (up 9.1%) and STM (up 7.5%) leading the pack. The K-12 textbook segment represents 51% of the sales in US dollars, followed by trade at 24%, STM at 15%, and religion at 10%.

K-12 textbooks dominate the total number of books published, representing 48% of the overall number, including both editions and reprints. (This should come as no surprise, since there are nearly 40 million children attending public schools. If you include those in private education as well, the number is far higher.) The next largest segment by volume published is trade (23%), followed by religion (11%), STM (6%) and others (12%).

Interestingly, despite more books being published and commensurate sales, the price of books is actually falling, from average price of R$12.68 in 2004 to R$11.11 in 2009.

DISCUSS: Which BRIC Country Offers the Most Opportunities for US and European Publishers?

About the Author

Maria Fernanda Rodrigues