Italy: Più Libri Più Liberi Opens

Small- and medium-sized publishers make up 50.1 percent of the Italian book market, reports AIE at today’s Più Libri Più Liberi opening.

At the opening of Rome’s annual book fair, Più libri più liberithe Association of Italian Publishers (Associazione Italiana Editori, AIE) is reporting that the share of the Italian trade industry held by small- and medium-sized publishers remains “stable” in 2023 at 50.1 percent of the market, as compared to 2022’s figures.

The Italian book market, of course, is getting a close and broadly international look this year, on the way to Guest of Honor Italy at the 2024 Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 16 to 20), and this high-visibility public-facing fair each year includes extensive professional programming from AIE and  Aldus Up, which has financing from the European Commission through Creative Europe.

Last year’s share of 50.2 percent for medium and small presses in Italy, like this year’s 50.1 percent, is a reminder of the half-and-half division of publishing houses, large and smaller, in this, the fourth largest national publishing industry in Europe. Industry players say they like this split between the bigger and smaller companies as a sign of market egalitarianism.

AIE’s president, Innocenzo Cipolletta, in today’s presentation said, “The data we’re presenting today confirm the pluralism that distinguishes Italian publishing. This has cultural value, in terms of a variety of voices” made possible by the range of corporate size and situation, he said, “the economic value being based in the way small- and medium-sized publishing houses often carry out experimentation that opens up new markets and ways of doing business. “For this reason,” he said, the market’s even division of shares by size of publishers is healthy and something to be perpetuated.

The president of AIE’s small publishers committee, Lorenzo Armando, points out that the nation’s market-share stability in terms of the sizes of publishing companies “goes hand-in-hand with a rapid transformation of the business: from the impact of  new technologies, such as artificial intelligence to the problems of distribution, there are many issues we’ll be questioning during the fair.

‘These are issues that require a more conscious approach on the part of us publishers, but also an open discussion with others in the industry and on the public policies to be put into place.”

Small Houses Up, Medium-Sized Houses Down

The Italian small- and medium-sized publishers in 2023 are at some 50.1 percent share of the overall book publishing market, as compared to last year’s 50.2 percent. Image: AIE, Nielsen BookScan

For further reading:

Photo: At the 2023 Piu’ Libri Piu’ Liberi, which runs through December 10th at Rome’s La Nuvola convention center, organized by the Associazione Italiana Editori and Aldus Up. Image: