Global Book Sales Statistics

As the global book publishing industry is coming out of the turbulent pandemic years, which slowed the market’s growth, we’ve decided to look at how global book sales progressed over the years.

Global book sales statistics

According to some estimates, over 2.2 billion books are sold each year, with the USA, UK, and China contributing to over 72% of this figure alone.

  • As of 2023, the global trade book sales revenue is estimated at $78.07 billion, which will be a 2.53% increase over 2022.
  • Global trade book sales in 2022 were 10.11% down compared to 2021, with $76.14 billion. This was the lowest global trade book revenue over the last 5 years, down even from the pandemic-impacted 2020.
  • During the pandemic, global book sales dropped by 7.64% to below $80 billion for the first time in at least 3 years.
  • Since 2017, global book sales have had an average annual growth of -0.96%, dropping from $82.83 billion to $78.07 billion in 6 years.
  • Projecting for the next 5 years, global book sales should reach $82.7 billion in 2027, with an average annual growth of 1.48%.
  • According to these projections, global book sales in 2027 will stay below the 2017 levels, by $130 million.
YearGlobal trade book sales revenue ($ billion)Change
2027* (projection)$82.701.48%* (projected annual growth)

Global book sales by format

Print books still dominate the global book market, but the projections show that they’re trending down. On the other hand, ebooks are slowly rising and should record steady growth over the next few years.

  • Print books are generating over $64.35 billion in revenue as of 2023. This will be a 2.24% increase over 2022, which was the worst year for print books over the last decade.
  • Over the last 6 years, average global print book revenue has been declining by 1.67% annually.
  • By 2027, it is projected that print revenue will be growing by 1.08% annually, reaching $67.14 billion in the final year.
  • This will still be below the 2017 levels when the global revenue of print books stood at $71.50 billion.
  • On the other hand, ebooks have been growing globally by 3.52% annually, on average, since 2017 and are projected to generate over $13.72 billion in 2023.
  • Looking at the future, ebooks are still projected to grow faster than print books, and the revenue should reach $15.29 billion in 2027.
  • By 2027, ebooks should account for over 17.27% of global book sales.
YearGlobal print book revenue ($ billion)Global ebook revenue ($ billion)Global audiobook revenue ($ billion)
  • Audiobooks contributed to 5.73% of all book sales worldwide in 2021.
  • The share of print book sales in global sales stands at 78.7%, while ebooks account for 15.75%.
  • In 2027, audiobooks are projected to account for over 6.9% of global book sales, increasing the share by 27% over 7 years.

Global book sales distribution

  • Local bookshops account for just over half of all global book sales, contributing 50.3% of total sales revenue.
  • Online sales are rising, especially since the breakout of Covid-19, and today over 25% of all book sales worldwide are done through online channels.
  • The rest of global sales is attributed to specialty stores and retail shops.
  • In terms of countries, the United States control over 24.7% of all global book sales.
  • The USA is followed by China, which accounts for 19.4% of all sales, and Germany with 9.2%.
  • As of 2023, the top 5 biggest book markets control 66.71% of all global book sales. In 2017, the top 5 countries accounted for 60.1%.
  • In 2027, it is projected that the top 5 countries will account for over 68% of all global book sales. This means that the top 5 countries will increase their share in global sales by 13% over 10 years.

Historical, current, and projected shares of the top 5 book markets in global sales are presented on the chart below: