International Book Market Data, curtesy of Frankfurt Book Fair 2020

Frankfurt Book Fair created an online edition this year. Actually, they went back and forth in the run-up and gradually reduced the face-to-face or on-location parts before deciding to go completely online in these special times. While many people expressed their disappointment at this, I can’t actually imagine something as stupid as a mass event during a global pandemic… But hey, that’s not what I wanted to write about.

Among the formats they created for their “Special Edition 2020”, there was a series of videos covering market data and other insights by experts in the respective regions and countries. And as they are all online on youtube, they’re accessible for pretty much everyone. Now they’re all a bit different in what they cover, but most talk about their book market before the pandemic and how publishers, booksellers and readers reacted to it. The German contribution shares lots of statistics and slides with data (maybe a bit of a cliché, but quite helpful), while others are more conversational (I enjoyed both formats).

You’ll find some more comments below, but here’s a quick overview of the countries/regions that are available (in alphabetical order, with links to the videos).

In addition, Frankfurt Book Fair created an overview of book market data and reliable sources that cover 24 regions/nations. As someone who has often struggled to find reliable and comparable data (why am I not surprised that France is not on the list?!), I appreciate this service a lot: (accessed 16 October 2020).

Please find below some more information about the Market Insights videos on the abovementioned countries and regions – this time, the order is a bit random and I did not watch them all from the beginning to the end, yet (they’re between 40 and 60min each):

Market Insights UK

cover picture of the Market Instight UK presentaiton, two hands forming a heartLink to the youtube video: (accessed 16 October 2020)

Presented by The Bookseller and chaired by its editor Philip Jones (who was also a great partner on the “Rethinking ‘Diversity’ in Publishing” project). His guests include:

  • Hazel Kenyon, Book Research Director at Nielsen (THE market data provider everyone in the UK relies on)
  • Will Atkinson, MD and publisher at Atlantic Books, a London-based indie publisher and “Trade Publisher of the Year” (Independent Publishing Awards 2020)
  • Isobel Dixon, literary agent, MD and Head of Books at the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency

Market Insights Germany

Link to the youtube video: (accessed 16 October 2020)

With lots of statistics and slides with market data!

Speakers (they’re all with the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels):

  • Thomas Koch, Head of Press and PR
  • Jana Lippmann, Head of Market Research
  • Nora Bechler, Consultant for Market Research
  • Dr Jessica Sänger, Director for European and International Affairs

“The book market in Germany is one of the largest and most lively in the world. But what distinguishes it from other markets? On the basis of concrete key figures, we will take a close look at print and e-book sales, the business of publishers and bookstores, and talk about the buying behaviour of German consumers. Furthermore, we’ll discuss the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on this special sector and the changes and opportunities it has brought. The four speakers from the German Publishers and Booksellers Association (Börsenverein) will be happy to share the latest findings and future prospects with you.”

Statistics about German booksellers and publishers (power point slide)

Market Insights Slovenia

With the intriguing subtitle: Who has the highest numbers of published books per inhabitant? (strong hints about 4 min in 😊)


  • Katja Stergar (International Cooperations, Slovenian Book Agency – and also in charge of the project “Slovenia, Guest of Honour at Bologna Book Fair 2022”)
  • Miha Kovač (Professor at the Department of Library and Information Science and Book Studies, University of Ljubljana)
  • Anja Kovač (Slovenian Book Agency, Coordinator of the project “Slovenia – Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2023”)

Link to the youtube video: (accessed 16 October 2020)

Market Insights Finland: Reading is the superpower!

Lovely subtitle!

Link to the youtube video: (accessed 16 October 2020)

Minna Catrén (Literary Director, Otava Publishing Company), Kao Hämäläinen (Journalist, Author), Laura Kalsson (Director Finnish Booksellers Association), Outi Mäkinen (Publishing Director, Tammi Publishers), chaired by Sakari Laiho (Director of the Finnish Book Publishers Association)

Some statistics: e.g. 10:30 “state of bookselling and publishing”, 25:00 “state of translated literature”

Market Insights into Spanish Bookmarkets

Conversations with agents from the literary fields of Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Spain.

Link to the youtube video: (accessed 16 October 2020)

Market Insights Brazil: The Vision of the Young Talents

“In this Market Insights you will meet the five finalists of the Brazilian Young Talents Award. They discuss the Brazilian book market pre-COVID situation and the impacts of the pandemic.”

Link to the youtube video: (accessed 16 October 2020)

Market Insights: South Asia

Link to the youtube video: (accessed 16 October 2020)

“In this Market Insights you can join the German Book Office, New Delhi presenting insights from the South Asian Publishing Industry. This 50-minute-video features Sonam Wangmo Dukpa Jhalani, Director of YeewongBhutan from Bhutan, Mitia Osman the CEO of Myurpankhi, from Bangladesh, Esha Chatterjee the CEO of BEE Books from India, Rajeev Dhar Joshi the CEO of Kathalaya Inc. from Nepal, Ejaz Shah the Director Programs at I CAN READ from Pakistan, Sam Perera the Precedent Partner at Perera Hussein Publishing House from Sr Lanka). The speakers share insights on the consumer trends, distribution challenges and agile innovations in the times of pandemic.”

Laura Bangun Prinsloo talking about the bookmarket in IndonesiaMarket Insights Indonesia

Link to the youtube video: (accessed 16 October 2020)

Presented by the “17,000 Pulau Imaji Foundation” and moderated by its chairperson Laura Bangun Prinsloo.

Provides lots of statistics throughout.

Market Insights Russia: The Eleven Optimists

Link to the youtube video: (accessed 16 October 2020)

I do love the first sentence of the introduction to the Russian Market Insight: “The German Book Office Moscow allows you to throw an optimistic glance at the Russian market.” I’m just gonna leave it at that…

“This 50-minute-video features 11 experts from the national publishing industry: Sergei Anuriev (LitRes), Anatoliy Bychkov and Julia Simonova (Boslen), Evgeniya Ekadomova (Samokat), Tatiana Ivanova (Best Case Agency), Marina Kadetova (KompasGuide), Evgeny Kapyev (EKSMO), Mikhail Kotomin (Ad Marginem Press), Boris Kuznetsov (ROSMAN), Sergey Turko (Alpina Publisher), and Tatiana Zborovskaya (independent literary translator). The speakers give insights into traditional and e-book publishing, fiction and non-fiction trends, the children’s and art book sectors, translation and film adaptation, and provide useful information for starting a new collaboration and intensifying existing business processes.”

Market Insights USA

“Join the Publishers Weekly and experts from the US publishing industry in this Marketing Insights session for an overview of the US market. We will discuss how the pandemic impacted the supply chain, sales channels, and consumer behavior; and highlight a new focus on acquisitions and new efforts being made by publishers to improve diversity.”

(includes a presentation with statistics around min. 15:30 “Book Buying in the Time of Covid” by Peter Hildick-Smith, Codex Group LLC)

Link to the youtube video: (accessed 16 October 2020)

Market Insights China

Presented by the “China Publishers Magazine” and the “German Book Office Beijing”.

Link to the youtube video: (accessed 16 October 2020)