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Books - UK - December 2009

The books market has proved more resilient than many other consumer sectors: an overall 1% decline in 2009 to £3.42 billion is expected primarily as a result of recession. However, value sales would be higher were it not for the extent of price-cutting by the supermarkets and Amazon.

  • Digital technology has started to achieve real visibility in the marketplace, with more affordable e-readers making headway in sales for the first time.
  • The iPod/iPhone phenomenon has enabled rapid growth in audiobooks and more recently also in e-books. While digitalisation, combined with the power of the social web, is also leading to new developments in self-publishing and both downloads and print-on-demand.
  • Around seven in ten consumers are readers and buyers. But the key readers are upmarket women, especially the childless third agers, whereas men are keener on non-fiction and more likely to buy hardbacks.
  • Despite all the challenges, the UK book market will remain strong, fuelled by creativity in writing and production and an enthusiastic readership. Scope for growth in volume sales exists as the number of ABC1s, over-45s and graduates increases, all of whom read more than average.
  • More negative factors remain, in particular a tough retailing environment, discounting and the potential impact of e-books.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key issues
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Embracing the local
              • Stand up for the value of books
                • So little time, so much to do
                • Market in Brief

                  • Market standing up to recession
                    • Relative performances – some stars
                      • Digital comes centre stage
                        • Consumer attitudes
                          • The future – forward on a firm foundation
                          • Internal Market Environment

                            • Key points
                              • Reading and buying both up... or so consumers say
                                • Figure 1: Trends in reading or buying books in the last month, 2005-09
                              • What’s on the rise
                                • Figure 2: Trends in buying hardback, paperback or audiobooks, 2005-09
                              • The next generation: Outlook sunny?
                                • Figure 3: Trends in books read, 2005-09
                                • Figure 4: Trends in number of books read and number of books bought, 2005-09
                              • Media tie-ins – and inspiration
                                • More promotion from major awards
                                  • Reinforcing commitment
                                    • Groups – offline and on
                                      • Reaching new readers
                                        • More for adults
                                          • Can books be environmentally friendly?
                                            • Progress on the digital front
                                              • Consumers see it differently
                                              • Broader Market Environment

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Opportunities to read
                                                    • Figure 5: Passenger rail journeys, by operator, 1981-2007
                                                  • Higher education – a builder for the long term
                                                    • Figure 6: Higher education enrolments, by level of study, 2003/04-2007/08
                                                  • Needs and means
                                                    • Figure 7: Structure of the UK adult population, by socio-economic group, 2004-14
                                                  • Pockets of growth potential
                                                    • Figure 8: Structure of the UK population, by age, 2004-14
                                                  • Economy slows
                                                    • Figure 9: GDP, PDI and consumer expenditure at current prices, 2004-14
                                                • Competitive Context

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Books more than hold their own
                                                      • Figure 10: Trends in participation in leisure activities, 2005-09
                                                    • Direct competition, and opportunity
                                                      • Better connections
                                                        • The potential for mobile phones
                                                          • Figure 11: Types of activity undertaken online or using a mobile phone, July 2009
                                                      • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                        • Strengths
                                                          • Weaknesses
                                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • The digital world: e-book readers
                                                                • Other ways to access
                                                                  • The digital world: iPhone and more
                                                                    • Tweet tweet
                                                                      • Print doesn’t stand still
                                                                        • New publishing models
                                                                          • Environment aware
                                                                          • Market Overview and Forecast

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Not too downbeat
                                                                                • Figure 12: UK total sales of books, by value*, 2004-09
                                                                              • Major events for good or ill
                                                                                • E-books emerge from the shadows
                                                                                  • The future – forward on a firm foundation
                                                                                    • More negatively
                                                                                    • Segment Performance

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Pricing in a recession
                                                                                          • What about deep discounting?
                                                                                            • Structure and pricing
                                                                                              • Figure 13: Average book prices*, hardback and paperback, March 2004-March 2009
                                                                                            • Differential contributions
                                                                                              • Figure 14: Structure of UK books market, by volume and value, 2008
                                                                                            • Sales trends by sector
                                                                                              • Figure 15: UK sales of books, by type of title, by volume*, 2004-09
                                                                                              • Figure 16: UK sales of books, by type of title, by value*, 2004-09
                                                                                            • Fiction
                                                                                              • The power of the franchise
                                                                                                • Plenty of room for individuality
                                                                                                  • Goths and graphics: The cult flourishes
                                                                                                    • Non-fiction
                                                                                                      • Reader fatigue setting in?
                                                                                                        • Greater variety elsewhere
                                                                                                          • Children’s
                                                                                                            • Creativity brings strength
                                                                                                              • Age – appropriate or not?
                                                                                                                • The teens are bringing in the numbers
                                                                                                                  • School/ELT
                                                                                                                    • Academic and professional
                                                                                                                      • Audiobooks
                                                                                                                        • Sales growth, but how much?
                                                                                                                          • The US comparison
                                                                                                                            • Key audio players
                                                                                                                              • Reaching people
                                                                                                                                • What else?
                                                                                                                                  • New opportunities
                                                                                                                                    • E-books
                                                                                                                                      • How to read an e-book
                                                                                                                                        • Reading on the go
                                                                                                                                          • More innovation
                                                                                                                                            • Putting a value on the market: The future
                                                                                                                                            • Market Share

                                                                                                                                                • Figure 17: Estimated UK market share of major publishing groups, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                              • Not too much shifting
                                                                                                                                              • Companies and Brands

                                                                                                                                                • Major players
                                                                                                                                                  • Dorling Kindersley
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2007-08
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Dorling Kindersley, breakdown of turnover, by geography, 2007-08
                                                                                                                                                    • Hachette UK
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Hachette UK Limited, 2007-08
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Hachette UK breakdown of sales, by geography, 2007-08
                                                                                                                                                      • HarperCollins
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: HarperCollins Publishers Limited, financial performance, 2007-08
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Harper Collins breakdown of turnover, by geography, 2007-08
                                                                                                                                                        • Independent Alliance
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Independent Alliance, ad spend, 2007-08
                                                                                                                                                          • Macmillan
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Macmillan Publishers Limited, key financial performance, 2006-07
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Macmillan Publishers breakdown of revenue, by geography, 2006-07
                                                                                                                                                            • McGraw-Hill
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: McGraw-Hill Education, financial performance, 2007-08
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: McGraw-Hill, breakdown of revenue, by geography, 2007-08
                                                                                                                                                              • Oxford University Press
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Oxford University Press, financial performance, 2007-08
                                                                                                                                                              • Pearson PLC
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Pearson PLC key, financial performance, 2007-08
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Pearson PLC, breakdown of sales, by geography, 2007-08
                                                                                                                                                                • Random House
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Random House key, financial performance, 2007-08
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Random House, breakdown of revenue, by geography, 2007-08
                                                                                                                                                                  • Simon & Schuster
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Simon & Schuster UK, key financial performance, 2006-07
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Simon & Schuster, breakdown of revenue, by geography, 2006-07
                                                                                                                                                                  • Channels to Market

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • Overview of multiples and online
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Brief outline of major bookshops, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • The impact of Borders (UK) closing
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Brief outline of other major retailers, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Tough for the independents…
                                                                                                                                                                        • … but they have unique strengths
                                                                                                                                                                          • What consumers say themselves
                                                                                                                                                                          • Who Reads What?

                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Who is buying
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Number of hardback, paperback and audiobooks bought, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • What dominates the shelves
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Most popular types of books bought, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Variations over time
                                                                                                                                                                                • Untapped potential
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Readership of books, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Reader patterns
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Better growth prospects
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Reader profiles
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Readership of books, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                  • How and Why People Read

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                      • A book is many things
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Attitudes towards reading books, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Reading for pleasure, and relaxation
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Maybe learning
                                                                                                                                                                                          • And a simple necessity
                                                                                                                                                                                            • The power of recommendations
                                                                                                                                                                                              • What about TV?
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Actual or virtual?
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • The main demographic differences
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Buying Books

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Pretty solid market, a little conservative?
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Attitudes towards buying books, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Promotions
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • How readers vary
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • The link with book format
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Attitudes towards buying books, by readership of books, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • What readers say themselves
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • What readers look for in bookshops
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Reaction to what’s on offer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • The coffee debate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Use of both bookshops and online
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appeal of online
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Authors and promotions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Targeting Readers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Group 1 – the Book Lovers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Targeting the Book Lovers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Group 2 – Borrowers and Buyers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Targeting the Borrowers and buyers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Group 3 – Read to learn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Targeting the Read to learn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Group 4 – Casual Readers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Targeting the Casual Readers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Readership of books, by target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Number of hardback books bought, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Number of paperback books bought, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Number of audiobooks bought, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Trends in types of books like reading, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Trends in visiting book shop in the last three months, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Trends in how often make purchase online, 2007-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Products bought at an airport in the last 12 months, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Products bought at an airport in the last 12 months, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Further products bought at an airport in the last 12 months, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Trends in read or buy books, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Trends in read or buy books, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Trends in reasons for reading books, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Trends in book club members from family, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Agreement with I really enjoy reading books, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Trends in money spend, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Trends in money spend, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Trends in money spend, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Broader Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Domestic passenger transport, by mode of transport, 1981-2007
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Segment Performance

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Average book prices*, hardback, March 2004-March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Average book prices*, paperback, March 2004-March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Who Reads What

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Most popular readership of books, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Next most popular readership of books, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Readership of books, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Readership of books, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – How and Why People Read

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Most popular attitudes towards reading books, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 71: Next most popular attitudes towards reading books, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Attitudes towards reading books, by readership of books, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Buying Books

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 73: Most popular attitudes towards buying books, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Next most popular attitudes towards buying books, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Targeting Readers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Attitudes towards reading books/attitudes towards buying books, by target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Target groups, by demographics, October 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Amazon.co.uk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Audiobook Publishing Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Barnes & Noble (bookstores)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bebo Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bloomberg L.P.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Borders (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • CBS Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Faber and Faber Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Google UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Higher Education Statistics Agency
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kelkoo S.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lonely Planet Publications
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Macmillan Publishers Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Natural History Museum 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nintendo UK Entertainment Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Orion Publishing Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Oxford University Press
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • PriceRunner UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Profile Books Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Quercus Publishing Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Research in Motion Uk Ltd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Royal Horticultural Society
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Simon & Schuster, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Starbucks Coffee Company UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Penguin Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Vodafone Group Plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Waterstones Booksellers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • WH Smith PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Yahoo! UK & Ireland
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Books - UK - December 2009

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