Thursday, 25 July 2019

Czechs annually spend seven billion crowns on books

ČTK |
12 May 2016

Prague, May 11 (CTK) - Books for about seven billion crowns are annually sold in the Czech Republic, a quarter of them on the Internet, according to the data of the Czech Association of Booksellers and Publishers.

The book market volume is only estimated and it has not much changed since 2011 when the association published these data for the first time.

The average book price has been rising only slightly and it is about 240 crowns in traditional bookshops.

However, the number of published book titles has been steadily rising in the Czech Republic, both in general and in the fiction sector.

Apart from Christmas, Czech publishers prepare the highest number of new titles for the Book World Prague international book fair, which starts on Thursday.

The number of e-books has been increasing and Czechs are buying audio-books more and more as well.

Last year, Czechs spent 82 million crowns on audio-books, which was 50 percent more than the year before.

In 2014, e-books made up only under 2 percent of the Czech book market. About one million e-books were sold and their market volume was put at 120 million crowns.

In the neighbouring Germany, e-books make up 10 percent of the market and in Britain 25 percent.

There are no official data on the volume of the Czech book market available. The Czech Statistical Office (CSU) is not monitoring them.

The Association of Booksellers and Publishers estimates them on the basis of the released sales of book distributors and publishers who are distributing their products themselves.

They say about 7.2 billion crowns have been spent on books yearly in the past three years.

This is about the same sum that Czech households spend on feed for cats and dogs. Last year, Czechs spent 6.6 billion crowns on toys for children.

There are no precise data available on the the number of sold copies of particular book titles either. The publishers release them only if the sales are exceptionally high.

A bestseller on the Czech market is a book sold in more than 10,000 copies. Those are mainly cookbooks, memoirs of Czech celebrities and world bestsellers, for instance, by Dan Brown, Paulo Coelho and E. L. James.

In the past few years, many traditional small bookshops have disappeared from town centres and large bookstores or bookshop chains have been established. The reasons are a lower purchasing power in the respective locality as well as customers' higher demands of a wide range of assortment and services.

Another reason might be the expansion of Internet shops and the improvement of their services. They often offer high discounts, with which small bookshops cannot compete and they go bankrupt.

At present there are some 600 independent bookstores in the Czech Republic with a population of 10.5 million, according to estimates.

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