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Report: Czechs spent CZK 7.8 billion on books in 2016

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Prague, Nov 21 (CTK) – The Czech literary market grew in 2016 by 4 percent compared to 2015, as the overall book sales increased by 300 million crowns, reaching 7.8 billion crowns including VAT, according to the annual report provided to CTK by the Association of Czech Booksellers and Publishers.

The sale of electronic books grew faster in 2016 compared to physical books. More than one million of e-books were sold.

Audio books saw a turnover increase of 37 percent last year compared to 2015.

However, the number of published book titles dropped the most since 2006 last year and the year-on-year drop was a record one, too.

The association refers to the Czech National Bibliography data, which registers approximately 15,500 book titles in 2016. That is roughly 1,100 titles fewer than in 2015.

According to the association’s chairman Martin Vopenka, the drop in the production of university textbooks is alarming. It is also likely that fewer specific, more demanding and educational titles were published in 2016, which may be due to the growing economic pressures, such as an increasing VAT, salaries and rental costs and an inadequate compensation for the use of author rights in the public space.

The sale of e-books further increased in 2016 and reached 118 million crowns, which is a 12 percent increase year-on-year. Their sale contributed by 1.5 percent to the overall turnover for book sale in the Czech market including the sale of e-books into other countries abroad (5-10 percent).

The sale of audio books reached 112 million crowns in 2016, which is an increase by 36.6 percent year-on-year. While the sales of e-books of the majority of publishers increased, Albatros Media joined them as a new entity in the statistics for 2016 as well.

After several years of growing book prices, the average book price was 261 crowns in 2016 compared to 274 crowns in 2015. This is but an estimate calculated by the association, which does not know the exact number of volumes sold and of the overall sale revenues.

“The difference between the average recommended price and the average realised price slightly increased – last year it was 40 crowns, which is 13.1 percent of the recommended price compared to 39 crowns in 2015 and nine crowns in 2014, the report says.

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