Thursday, August 2, 2018

U.K. Book Business Boom Could Hit USA

Book publishing in the United States has been on a solid comeback the last five years, steadily showing revenue increases that correspond with more indie bookstore openings and a decline in e-book sales.  But if you want to see a hot market for books, look no further than the United Kingdom.

Indeed, the U.K. publishing industry had a record-breaking year in 2017, according to the Publishing Association's Yearbook. Income rose 5% to 5.7 billion pounds (or 7.467 billion dollars).  

Interestingly, British publishing exports more books in the world than any nation, and its exports represent 60% of its total revenues, meaning Britain exports more books than its citizens and visitors consume.

Book publishing in America should take notes on what the U.K. is doing right.  At the very least, we should be exporting more books.  It would be easy – our thousands of U.S. commercial airplanes and military planes – and FedEx – are overseas every day.  Throw some books on them and start selling them!

The book publishers in the U.S. should band together to co-market their books overseas, minimizing costs and bundling shipping.  It’s not only a potential money-maker, it’s important for America to export its values and ideas through books.  We can liberate the minds and souls of billions.

Foreign sales is something many authors miss out on.  Most self-published authors lack the sales channels or connections to export their books.  But it could be a lucrative area for them to pursue.  Of course not all books would have a viable market in certain countries, but many could sell well if they have to do with popular topics –wealth, health, thrillers, spirituality, and children.

Maybe British publishers sell a big load of books about the Royal Family. With this year’s Royal Wedding, the world couldn’t get enough about the newest couple.  The U.S. lacks that kind of cultural star power but it does have Hollywood, pro sports, Wall Street and Silicon Valley to pump out subjects for great books.

However, tariffs and Brexit could eventually hurt the UK's exporting of books.  But until the U.K. shows a slowdown, look for it to keep leading the way for all book publishing nations to marvel at.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.

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