GVR Report cover Books Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Books Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (Science, Historical, Mystery, Fantasy, Literary, Contemporary/Realistic, Romance, Educational, Comic), By Format, By Distribution Channel, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2022 - 2030

  • Report ID: GVR-2-68038-071-2
  • Number of Pages: 120
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Report Overview

The global books market size was valued at USD 138.35 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.9% from 2022 to 2030. Increasing consumer spending on books supported by rising incomes and interest, as well as continued innovations in the format that have enhanced the overall reading experience, are among the key factors boosting the market. The market has been dominated by academic publishers, with non-academic publishing or trade publishing accounting for a rather minuscule share in comparison. Academic publishing houses have a symbiotic relationship with the educational system. A majority of these publishing houses directly cater to schools, colleges, universities, and research institutes that cover technical, medical, and professional education.

U.S. books market size, by type, 2020 – 2030 (USD Billion)

Books have witnessed enormous changes throughout their history. From papyrus scrolls to the introduction of e-books with the advent of digital media and new technologies, the market has adapted itself into various forms such as e-books and audiobooks. Thus, since reading moved to screens, it has widened the scope of opportunities for publishers as well as readers in the market. Publishers should take into account the digital medium of communication and invest in creating and promoting content across text, audio, and video modes. HarperCollins has taken initiatives since 2013 to form partnerships with companies like Scribd, an online digital library. Publishers can also create an online visual experience for their readers, like J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore.

One of the key challenges in the market is the rising prices of print and e-book titles, owing to which consumers are now seeking alternative options rather than purchasing brand new copies. According to a Voice of the Reader survey, rising book prices are driving buyers to delay purchases. Thus, high book prices result in consumers finding lower-priced alternatives such as buying used books or downloading free and discounted e-books from discount newsletters. Along with this, the costs of textbooks have also been increasing.

The COVID-19 outbreak increased the demand for books quite significantly across the globe, especially in the household sector. The pandemic resulted in a work-from-home situation for hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, which developed a wider scope for leisure activities and self-development among consumers. Books, being one of them, were desired by tens of thousands of consumers during this period of uncertainty and chaos, to focus on self-development as well as to spend time at home productively. This, in turn, has boosted the growth of the book market.

Type Insights

Science segment is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 1.8% from 2022 to 2030. Science books are usually a work of non-fiction and could be related to a science or non-science-based person. Authors of popular science books have historically been well-known scientists, such as Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Female scientists and science writers such as Rachel Carson and Jane Goodall have also had a significant impact on their respective fields and through their writing.

The Mystery segment led the market and accounted for a 16.6% share of the global revenue in 2021. Readers often respond to books because they can relate to one of the characters. In the case of mystery novels, readers respond by becoming a part of the solution. They get to be a part of the thrill and adventure but in a controlled and safe environment.

Moreover, the readings are even more appealing to most people than jigsaws and Rubik’s cubes. It may be even more appealing because not only does it satisfy the “puzzle-solving” element of traditional puzzles, but it allows one to invoke the imagination, to be gripped by the suspense of a whodunit, making the puzzle even more fascinating and the desire to reach the “goal” stronger.

Distribution Channel Insights

Local book shops were the largest distribution channel with a market revenue share of around 50.3% in 2021. A local bookstore offers a home to both authors and readers and is a welcoming place to come together to feel comfortable and at ease. It is a place for like-minded individuals to gather and exchange ideas. Many such shops have in-house book clubs and themed reading groups and organize regular author events, talks, and other activities that inspire individuals to think new thoughts and generate new ideas.

Global books market share, by distribution channel, 2021 (%)

The online channel is anticipated to register faster growth during forecast years with a CAGR of 2.9% from 2022 to 2030. An innovative idea that online vendors are using is that they are selling second-hand or used books to customers that are in a readable condition and available at a low price. This has proven to be a highly successful venture among students or young bookworms. Kitabay, a website operating in India, sells second-hand books at a meagre price of 14 USD; they offer free home delivery above a specific amount and consumers can choose from “Mystery Box” options offering a varied number of books on a chosen genre, such as Romance, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult, Classics, etc.

Format Insights

Hard copy segment accounted for the largest market revenue share of around 78.7% in 2021. Despite an onslaught of new technology, books have proved to be extremely resilient. The printed word has many compelling advantages over reading on a screen. It is easier on the eyes, easy to browse, and comes with certain durability that the relatively impermanent and easily edited digital text does not have. While many other technologies were soon made obsolete and replaced by more recent advances, books have survived as a medium almost unchanged for centuries, despite abundant competition.

The audiobook segment is anticipated to register faster growth during forecast years with a CAGR of 3.1% from 2022 to 2030. Audiobooks are immersive, educational, instructional, and entertaining and they are perfect for the time-rich and the time-poor. Audiobooks can also change the way people listen, read, and learn, improving the literacy of young readers and those for whom English is a second language.

According to the “Western down libraries” website, about 27% of the Kindergarten to year 12 population are auditory learners. Students can listen and comprehend two grade levels above their reading level when regularly listening to audiobooks. Combining print and audio increases recall by 40% over print alone.

Regional Insights

North America made the largest contribution to the global market of over 32.9% in 2021. The presence of a large number of independent publishers and publishing companies in the region is anticipated to boost market growth. Additionally, the growing number of avid readers in North America is likely to benefit the market. Amazon is the largest book retailer in North America, followed by Barnes & Noble.

Furthermore, hardcover books are expected to hold the largest market share while audiobooks are anticipated to witness rapid growth. The penetration of e-books is also anticipated to increase in the region. A large number of physical retail bookstores have been facing challenges with a rising number of readers switching to online shopping or opting for subscription-based e-books.

Asia Pacific is expected to witness a CAGR of 2.5% from 2022 to 2030. The Asia Pacific market for books is currently in the growth phase. The region is dominated by local publishers and the demand for international books is anticipated to increase. However, many diverse languages are prevalent in this region and thus, the demand for books in regional languages is higher compared to English books.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The books market includes both international and domestic participants. Key market players focus on strategies such as innovation and new product launches in retail about products to enhance their portfolio offering in the market.

  • In November 2020, Pearson announced the creation of a new direct-to-consumer division as it looks to further strengthen its focus on building a direct relationship with learners around the world

  • In November 2020, Scholastic Inc. announced a new multi-book publishing program with civil rights hero and national treasure, Ruby Bridges

  • In November 2020, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has signed a two-book deal with Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Tarantino’s first work of fiction, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’, will be published in the Summer of 2021

Some of the key players operating in the global books market include:

  • Penguin Random House

  • Hachette Book Group

  • HarperCollins Publishers

  • Simon & Schuster, Inc.

  • Pearson

  • Macmillan Publishers

  • Scholastic Inc.

  • Marvel Comics

  • Morris Publishing

  • IDW Publishing

Books Market Report Scope

Report Attribute

Report Details

Market size value in 2022

USD 142.33 billion

Revenue forecast in 2030

USD 164.22 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 1.9% from 2022 to 2030

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2017 - 2020

Forecast period

2022 - 2030

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD billion and CAGR from 2022 to 2030

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Type, format, distribution channel, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Germany; U.K.; France; China; India; Japan; Korea

Key companies profiled

Penguin Random House; Hachette Book Group; HarperCollins Publishers; Simon & Schuster, Inc.; Pearson; Macmillan Publishers; Scholastic Inc.; Marvel Comics; Morris Publishing; IDW Publishing

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis of the latest trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the books market based on type, format, distribution channel, and region:

  • Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Science

    • Historical

    • Mystery

    • Fantasy

    • Literary

    • Contemporary/Realistic

    • Romance

    • Educational

    • Comic

    • Others

  • Format Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Hard Copy

    • E-Books

    • Audiobooks

  • Distribution Channel Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Online

    • Local Book Shops

    • Retail Shops

    • Specialty Stores

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • North America

      • U.S.

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

      • France

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • Korea

    • Central & South America

    • Middle East & Africa

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