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The volume of the Russian book market has continued to decline the fourth year in a row

The volume of the Russian book market has continued to decline the fourth year in a row, dropping up to 2012 by more than 3%, to 60 billion rubles., shows the annual report of Rospechat. The number of bookstores in the country is declining even more rapidly - by more than 12%, to 2.9 thousands. The digital sales of books do not compensate the fall: even almost doubled to 260 million rubles, they compile only about 0.4% of the total market. 

The volume of the Russian book market has declined from 62 billion rubles. in 2011 to 60 billion rubles. in 2012, according to the annual report of the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications (Rospechat) with reference to the assessment of "Penguin", one of the largest participants in the book publishing market. Thus, the decline continues for the fourth year in a row. Compared to the record level reached in 2008 - 74.6 billion rubles., - The market has lost about 20%. The growth of prices on books by 7% compared to 5% a year earlier. The average retail price of the book, therefore, has reached 309 rubles.


The number of bookstores was decreased from 3.3 million in 2011 to 2.9 million at the end of 2012, i. e. more than 12%. This is almost two times less than in the Russian Empire in the late XIX century (about 5 thousand, according to 1898) and almost three times less than in the USSR in 1989 (about 8.5 million), points Rospechat. Now, in Russia one bookstore has an average of 50-55 thousand inhabitants, while in Europe, according to the agency, the figure is one store for 5-6 thousand people. 


In whole, the proportion of independent bookstores in the market is reduced and the results in 2013 will form to only 51% compared to 60% in 2011, while the share of federal networks during this time will increase from 14% to 16%, predicts the "Exmo". During those same two years, would dramatically increase the proportion of sales of online retailers - from 6% to 13%. At the same time bookselling network earn more by selling a variety of related products, including stationery: in 2012 the share of non-book products in total sales of stores in Moscow, St. Petersburg and federal networks increased by 28% compared to 24% in 2011 and e.g., 17% in 2008. In the regional share of non-book products stores reached 36% in 2012 compared to 30% in 2011 and 18% in 2008.


According to the Wexler company about 2.4 million of book readers and 3.4 million tablet devices has been sold in Russia in 2012. But, according to "Romir", books in a digital format are bought only by 15% of the readers. The volume of legal sales of books in digital format in 2012 are nearly doubled - from 135 million to 260 million rubles, reaching thus a little more than 0.4% of the total book market. President of the Association of Online Publishers Vladimir Kharitonov consider, that Russia still lags far behind more developed markets, which means that the current pace of of e-books segment growth in the country will be saved in the next few years, including increasing range of legal shops. For comparison, according to the Association of American Publishers, the market for digital books in the U.S. in 2012 was $ 1.3 billion, or 12.8% of all book sales.