Bologna Focus: Italy’s €283 Million Children’s Book Market

At Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the AIE and Bologna Book Plus will look at young readers’ growing place in the Italian market

In the run-up to the year’s first major international book publishing industry trade shows—Elena Pasoli‘s Bologna Children’s Book Fair in its 60th edition runs March 6 to 9—the Association of Italian Publishers (Associazione Italiana Editori, AIE) has today (February 15) released several figures about Europe’s fourth largest book market that help bring into focus the importance of the young readers’ sector to the Italian publishing industry.

In 2022, more than one-in-five books sold in Italy was “aimed at children and/or teenagers”—in physical bookstores, big-store retail settings, and digital retail. Indeed, the young readers’ market is calculated by the AIE to be work €268.4 million (US$2878.2 million).

And that’s without comics. Add in the comics and manga content—which has been sweeping the country’s youthful book marketplace according to many publishers there—and the total value of the younger set to book publishing comes to €283 million (US$302.8 million).

In the chart below, you can see something of why Italian publishers’ eyes light up when you mention comics. Look at the jump for comics (in the beige colored elements at the top) between 2019 and 2022, comics more than doubling their market share between 2019 and 2022.

In unit sales, the 2022 figure for overall children’s and young-adult books came to 23 million books.

Article courtesy of Publishing Perspectives, February 15, 2023.

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