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Federaci贸n de Gremios

Comercio interior

Yearly report on the Spanish book domestic trade

Since 1988 the Federación has been publishing a yearly report on the Spanish book domestic trade to inform about the total turnover of the private publishing houses in the Spanish domestic market and about the book offer and its commercialisation. This report has become an essential reference for all professionals within the book sector.

This report is carried out so that, on the one hand, member publishers and associations have at their disposal the necessary information and the appropriate overview on the publishing market and, on the other hand, all interested professionals have an in-depth knowledge on the book market.

Throughout its fourteen editions, the information offered by the report has been gaining in quantity and, especially, in quality; thus, and even though the main purpose of the study remains to determine the turnover of private publishers in the domestic market and to provide a better information on the book offer and its commercialisation, during the past years the report has been going into greater detail on the characteristics of the different sub-markets within the sector, including the issue of Intellectual Property. Equally, the date gathered allows to build historical series and, therefore, to analyse the evolution and tendencies of the publishing world.

Employment in the sector, geographical distribution of the production and sales of books, publishing in pocket format, total amount paid for royalties or money invested in promotion are a few of the topics dealt with in this report.

The main points of this report on Spanish book domestic trade for 2002 can be broken down as follows:

Book domestic trade registered during 2002 a turnover of 2,674 million euros, which represents an increase of 2.6% in comparison to 2001. As in previous years, the data of the sector have gone up in almost every aspect: production reached 275.6 million copies, up 5.9% from 2001, the number of employees on payroll raised 4.3%, the published titles 3.4% and the titles in catalogue 5.9%. To this increasing offer in the publishing variety (276,000 titles in catalogue), there is a continuous effort to bring down prices, and the average price stands now at 11.80 euros.

By subject, the lowest average prices are those for children and youth books (6.64 euros per copy), cartoons (8.08) and non-university books (11.34). Only scientific-technical books, university books and encyclopaedias have an average price slightly superior to 13 euros. Regarding sales, during 2002 more than 100 million copies were sold in Spain between non-university textbooks and literature books.

Pocket book publishing accounts for 5.8% of the published titles (3,610 titles) and 9.9% of the produced copies (30.3 million copies). Book sales in this format reached during 2002 a turnover of 120 million euros, with an average price per copy of 6.27 euros.

Bookstores reinforced their predominant position among all distribution channels for the book in Spain, and they already have a market share of 38.5% of the domestic market. Credit sales represented 7.5% of the total during 2002, while sales in quioscos (newstands where books are sold) have been going down for the last six years, mostly as a result of the reduction in prices. Sales through the Internet still represent only 0.4% of the total amount, but this channel increased its share by 135% during last year. Big supermarkets have recovered part of the lost ground and account for 10.7% of total sales.

Publishing in forms other than paper continues to grow. In 2002 33% of the Spanish publishers published in DVD, floppy disks, videos, cassettes and, mostly, CD-ROMs.

The amount paid for royalties by member publishers during 2002 was 153 million euros, which represents 5.7% of the total turnover. The amount received by Spanish publishers for selling rights amounted to 11.4 million euros.

Fixed price for books

The system of fixed price for books, which makes it possible for the readers to buy books at the same price regardless of the place of purchase, is for this Federación a necessary and essential system for the progress of the publishing sector. A fixed price for books favours the publishing of important amounts of titles, extends life of the books in the market and allows the specialisation of bookstores and even the existence of alternative ones.

The Federación has allocated from the beginning part of its personal and material efforts and resources to defend the fixed price system for the books, fully convinced that it will only bring positive effects on the quality, variety and plurality of the publishing offer. The collaboration of the media and of important authors in this particular point has helped considerably to launch the campaign for the fixed price. The publication in year 2000 of the book "Fixed price: what for?" had a fantastic reception among all professionals of the sector, media and readers.

Since year 2000, the Federación has been paying close attention to the consequences of the liberalisation of discounts for compulsory textbooks (elementary and secondary education, not high school nor university), applicable since the Royal Decree, Law 6/2000 of the 23rd of June on Urgent Measures on Intensification of Competition in Markets and Services was passed, and has closely followed all meetings and guidelines on fixed price that have been discussed within the Cultural Commissions and the European Union domestic market.

VAT 0 for books

The Federación defends the principle that books should not be subjected to tax burden. 0 V.T.A. for books is an objective for which publishers will continue to fight.

Based on the definition of word book provided by the Real Academia Española (Spanish Royal Academy of Language), there are discussions with the General Subdirectorate for VAT so that the appropriate tax measures are taken.

Consumer Credit

In year 2002, the Federación created a work team composed by publishers affected by the European Parliament and Council Directive Proposal, brought forward by the Commission of European Communities the 11th of September 2002, regarding harmonisation of legal, and administrative regulations of the member States on consumer credit. Many Spanish publishers are directly affected by article 5, which prohibits the dealing of credit and financing contracts outside business premises (in Spain, consumer credit is the second most important commercialisation channel for books in terms of sales, and accounted for 13.8% of the total turnover of the sector in year 2001).

For this reason, the Federación keeps close contact both with the European Publishers Federation and with the Spanish authorities to find a solution by which an exception is made in this Directive proposal within the field of sales credit; solution that, at the same time, does not require to sign any credit line with financial entities.

Ministerio de Educaci贸n, Cultura y Deporte
Federation of European Publishers
Fund茅u BBVA
Biblioteca Digital Hisp谩nica