Initiativen des Börsenvereins und der Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenvereins

Eine Übersicht der Projekt-Webseiten des Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels und der Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels.


Book Market 2021 Achieves Turnover Growth: “Books are crisis-resilient”.

Turnover increase of 3.2 per cent compared to 2020 across central sales channels / Books for children and young adults, fiction and non-fiction all record gains / Physical bookstore business lagging behind due to months of lockdown
Erstellt am 06.01.2022

The book market was once again able to hold its own in the second year of the Covid pandemic. Turnover in 2021 across the central sales channels (retail bookstores, ecommerce incl. Amazon, railway station bookstores, department stores, electrical goods stores and drugstores) was 3.2 percent above the previous year. Business was even better than before the Covid pandemic: compared to 2019, book market revenue increased by 0.8 per cent. The physical bookstore business was unable to make up the shortfall from the months of store closures in spring and finished with a 3.1 per cent drop in revenues compared to 2020 and an 11.5 per cent drop compared to the pre-Covid year of 2019. This can be seen in the market data report “Branchen-Monitor BUCH”, which was published today. 

"Books have proven to be crisis-resilient during the pandemic. People still feel a great need for good stories, for reliable information, advice and inspiration. It is true that the months of store closures at the beginning of the year and the decline in footfall in the city centres have been a great challenge to physical bookstores in particular. However, the demand for books remained high. Month by month, the book market was able to work its way out of the lockdown backlog thanks to the great commitment and creativity of the bookstores and publishers and their ability to stay in touch with their customers during the crisis. Many bookstores, even smaller ones, benefited from growing online sales. This is good news in view of the increasing costs, for example for paper and energy, which have increased significantly and will continue to affect the book industry in the coming year", says Karin Schmidt-Friderichs, Chairwoman of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers & Booksellers Association). 

As in 2020, the book trade in 2021 has also caught up strongly again after the lockdown in spring. At the end of April 2021, the sales gap in the physical bookstore business compared to the pre-pandemic year 2019 was still 30.4 percent - by the end of the year, however, it was down to only 11.5 percent. 

In terms of product groups, books for children and young adults continued to record large increases during the pandemic: titles for this young target group brought in 9.4 per cent more sales last year than in 2019. Fiction (+4.2 per cent) and non-fiction (+1.6 per cent) also gained ground compared to pre-pandemic levels. A large sales gap still exists for travel literature (-26.4 per cent).   

According to Media Control, the best-selling novel in 2021 (fiction hardcover) was "Über Menschen" by Juli Zeh. It was followed in second place by "Playlist" by Sebastian Fitzek, and in third place by Lucinda Riley's "The Missing Sister". Among the non-fiction bestseller titles (hardcover), "Pfoten vom Tisch!" by Hape Kerkeling ranked first, Ferdinand von Schirach with "Jeder Mensch" took second place and "Die kleinste gemeinsame Wirklichkeit" by Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim reached third place. 

The data published for the sales channels of the retail bookstores, ecommerce incl. Amazon, railway station bookstores, department stores as well as electrical goods stores and drugstores offer an initial trend indication for the development of the book market in 2021. Complete book market figures, which include all other sales channels (direct from publishers, mail order book trade, other sales outlets, book clubs) as well as the figures for books sold with payment by invoice, will be available in summer 2022.  

The “Branchen-Monitor BUCH” is published monthly by the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels. It is based on data from the Media Control retail panel. 

Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

Braubachstraße 16
60311 Frankfurt am Main

Telefon +49 69 13 06 292