By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Big Crowds on Bologna’s Day OneAmong the many events of the packed opening day here at Bologna Children’s Book Fair, a presentation from Ricardo Franco Levi and the team at the Association of Italian Publishers (Associazione Italiana Editori, AIE) included facts and figures on the robust children’s book market in our host country, Italy.
So strong is the trade-visitor turnout this year that at times getting through the halls from one meeting to the next requires a few detours as aisles become all but impassable.
In the lunch hour on Monday (February 6), we saw lines of more than 30 people at food stands, and the newly configured, high-walled exhibitions in the central “services” area were teeming with browsing viewers.
The Market of Honor Greece pavilion was opened by the personable and engaged Greek deputy minister of culture and sports Nicholas Yatromanolakis with a throng of people squeezing into the central omicron-shaped chamber to hear his welcoming comments.
And just next door, the Bologna Book Plus stage was running back-to-back presentations, one of which was a handy presentation of points about the youth book market in Italy.
What we’re going to give you here is a quick, selective look at that market, simply by the numbers, no charts or narrative commentary needed.
IPA’s Karine Pansa’s Argument for Industry Data
As we provide you with this, we’d like to lobby for one of our favorite causes here at Publishing Perspectives: coherently comparable industry statistics.
A primary concern that Brazil’s Karine Pansa is focusing on during her tenure as president of the International Publishers Association (IPA) is just such data that can be placed side-by-side with other international book markets’ facts and figures to provide a way for the world’s book business to construct a better picture of itself, is strengths and challenges,
The research unit of the Italian publishers association is among the world industry’s best, and as you’ll see, this makes them able to provide a remarkably streamlined round of facts and figures quickly.
We’d readily propose that the list of informational categories be one that each market in Europe and other world publishing markets use to construct their own snapshots of their young readers’ sector activity and key points for analysis.
AIE’s Youth Book Market Data Points
Resident population as of January 1, 2022:
- Children 0 to 14 years: 7,489,795 (down -1.9 percent over January 1, 2021)
- Children 6 to 14 years: 4,868,277 (down -1.2 percent over January 1, 2021)
Readers of “at least one non-school book in the previous 12 months” (2021):
- 6 to 10 years: 45.6 percent
- 11 to 14 years: 54.7 percent
- 15 to 17 years: 50.9 percent
Ebook readers “in the previous 12 months” (2021):
- 6 to 10 years: 5.2 percent
- 11 to 14 years: 15.1 percent
- 15 to 17 years: 19.6 percent
Audiobook listeners “in the previous 12 months” (2021):
- 6 to 10 years: 2.7 percent
- 11 to 14 years: 2.5 percent
- 15 to 17 years: 1.9 percent
Sales of trade books—physical and online bookstores and large retailers—at cover price of the children’s and youth sector (2022):
- €268.4 million (US$ 286.7 million), down -3.7 percent from 2021
Titles of published children’s and youth books:
- 2016: 6,165
- 2017: 7,476
- 2018: 7,221
- 2019: 7,810
- 2020: 7,289
- 2021: 8,850
Book titles published per thousand children in 2021 (0 to 14 years):
- 1.18 (2017: 0.90)
- 2016: 27,200,000
- 2017: 26,950,000
- 2018: 26,685 ,000
- 2019: 30,944,000
- 2020: 32,503,000
- 2021: 38,093,000
Distribution of book production by age group (2021):
- 0 to 2 years: 6.9 percent
- 3 to 4 years: 34.7 percent
- 5 to 6 years: 27.0 percent
- 7 to 8 years: 16.8 percent
- 9 to 10 years: 8.9 percent
- 11 to 13 years: 5.5 percent
- Unclassifiable: 0.2 percent
Average annual expenditure per child in 2022 (0 to 14 only trade channels):
- €35.83 (€29.18 in 2018; €31.1 in 2020, €37.5 in 2021)
Import and export: Trends in rights sales and rights purchases (value shown in parentheses) of children’s and young adult books by Italian publishers:
- 2001: 486 (1.250)
- 2005: 468 (1.369)
- 2010: 1.607 (1.283)
- 2016: 2.948 (1.897)
- 2017: 3.175 (1.848)
- 2018: 3.074 (1.797)
- 2019: 3.256 (2.402)
- 2020: 2.812 (2.190)
Data collection and processing by the AIE Study Office from various sources:
- AIE-Kids Observatory by Pepe Research
- IE- Informazioni Editoriali
More from Publishing Perspectives on publishing and book awards in the international industry is here. More on Bologna Children’s Book Fair is here, more on Bologna Book Plus is here, more on children’s books is here, more on the Italian market is here, more on international rights trading is here, and more on world publishing’s trade shows and book fairs is here.
Publishing Perspectives is the world media partner of the International Publishers Association.
More of our coverage of the 60th anniversary edition of Bologna Children’s Book Fair:
On Bologna’s Opening Day: The Best Publishers Award
Elena Pasoli and Jacks Thomas on the 60th Bologna Book Fair Opening
Nicholas Yatromanolakis on Bologna’s Market of Honor: ‘The Modern Face of Greece’
IPA’s Events Lineup at Bologna Children’s Book Fair
‘AI’ at Bologna: The Hair-Raising Topic of 2023?
At Bologna: PublisHer Will Have Its First Trade Show Stand
At Bologna: The ‘Taiwan Stories Market’ Program
Pre-Bologna Rights Roundup: ‘Buy Ukrainian Book Rights’
Children’s Rights Edition: A 16th Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids
Bologna Book Fair Names Cross Media Award Winners
Bologna Focus: Italy’s €283 Million Children’s Book Market
Rights Edition: Bologna Book Plus’ Rights Programming
Bologna Book Fair: 2023 Ragazzi Awards
Bologna’s 60th Book Fair: Illustrators Exhibition Winners
Greece Is Bologna Book Plus’ First Market of Honor