Rights Edition: Baseline News From Torino’s 2024 Trading Center

Torino’s professional program included a report on the Italian publishing industry’s statistics and positive signals from the Rights Center.

During the 36th edition of the Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino—which ran through Monday—several key points about the Italian book market were featured in informational programming from the Association of Italian Publishers (Associazione Italiana Editori, AIE).

Particularly in Frankfurter Buchmesse‘s (October 16 to 20) the Guest of Honor Italy year, many are closely watching this particularly resilient European market, which indeed has opened 2024 with a bit of drama. A modest negative statistic has appeared in what’s being tracked from the first four months of 2024, the robust Italian market showing a 2.2-percent downturn in trade publishing. At the same time, it’s important to note that the results of that opening quadrimester show the market to be running a substantive 15.1 percent better than it did in the same time period in 2019.

With more detail: Italian trade publishing—fiction and nonfiction sold in physical and online bookstores and in large-scale retail outlets—declined 2.2 percent in the first 4 months of the year compared to 2023, with €465.6 million (US$5.8 million) in sales at cover price:

  • The decline in copies was 3.5 percent, with 30.1 million copies sold.
  • Compared to 2019, growth in value was 15.1 percent and in copies was 11.7 percent.

“The data we are presenting today,” said AIE president Innocenzo Cipolletta, “tell us two things. The first is that Italian publishing is a solid industry that has largely stabilized its post-pandemic growth, thanks to its ability to address new reading requirements. The growth of Italian authorship is significant, without, of course, detracting from the very important role of foreign works published in translation that allowed us to learn more about the rest of the world. That’s a recognition of our writers and means that publishers have built professionalism and skills that produce successful titles both in the domestic market and abroad. Our participation in Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 16 to 20) as Guest of Honor Italy will enhance this heritage even more and even better in terms of internationalization.”

In addition, however, Cipolletta went on to say, “Publishers are moving on still-fragile ground. We will understand in the coming months whether the minus signs we are seeing in this first part of the year will be amplified, and to what extent, by the disappearance or modification of measures to support demand such as the special fund for libraries and the Culture and Merit Cards” that have replaced Italy’s internationally admired 18App.

“Certainly, ours remains a country characterized by strong inequalities in reading habits,” Cipolletta acknowledged, “especially between North and South, an issue on which strong public intervention is needed.”

For further reading: publishingperspectives.com

Photo: Rights Center at the Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino. Image: SILT