During the opening of the Sharjah International Booksellers Conference, Markus Dohle, the first Chief Executive of Penguin Random House, participated in a keynote conversation with Porter Anderson, editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives, titled, “The State of Global Publishing, Bookselling, and the Promise of Emerging Markets”. Dohle presented his views on the state of global publishing, bookselling, and the promise of emerging markets. “The future for publishers and booksellers is bright and full of opportunities, and the data shows it” Dohle exclaimed.
Dohle identified six reasons why the publishing and bookselling industry is on the rise, making this arguably the best time in history for the industry. First, the global revenue for books is showing growth year-on-year. Second, the industry is experiencing stability and profitability in distribution models. Third, there is a healthy co-existence between digital and traditional formats of books. “What may surprise many is that 80% of the market is still in physical copies, even with the additional options we have these days. Print has prevailed, and has proven to be the “life insurance” for publishers and retailers,” Dohle stated. Fourth, the addressable audience is growing every year due to population growth and increasing literacy rates.
The fifth reason Dohle presented is that the biggest market for books and publishing is for children and young adults. This is a healthy sign for the future of publishing. Finally, Dohle noted the ever-growing industry of audiobooks. He explained that listening to stories is in our DNA and that the format enables people to multi-task, making it attractive to those with busy lifestyles.
In conclusion, according to Dohle, the data shows that the publishing and bookselling industry is thriving, and there are many opportunities for growth and success. Despite negative perceptions, the future looks bright.
The conference’s opening day also featured a series of workshops, each led by experts in their respective fields. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about data in the book industry, sustainability and the SDGs, consumer book buying behaviours, effective social media campaigns, bookshop design and marketing, along with many more engaging and informative sessions. The workshops provide an excellent platform for attendees to ask questions, exchange ideas, and learn from the experts. Attendees have the chance to network with other professionals in the industry and build new connections.