Online bookshops reached over BRL 900 million in sales in 2020, based on a research carried out by Nielsen Book


A research carried out by Nielsen Book and coordinated by the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Syndicate of Book Publishers (SNEL) reveals the positive and negative impacts of the pandemic on the publishing industry in 2020. The growth of online bookshops during such period was expected, but nevertheless it was quite interesting.

The study entitled “Production and Sales in the Brazilian Publishing Industry – Base Year 2020” shows that this industry was adversely affected by the temporary closing of physical shops in the country, reaching total earnings of BRL 5.2 billion during such period, what means a 8.8% decrease in comparison with 2019.

Conversely, the General Books segment was the only one with increased earnings, ending 2020 with a profit of BRL 1.3 billion, representing a 3.8% increase compared with 2019. “In times of social distancing, the importance of books as a leisure option has grew”, says Marcos da Veiga Pereira, president of SNEL. “Many Brazilians found in literature a way of facing such troubled period and exploring the world”, adds Vitor Tavares, president of CBL.

The power of online shops

The research highlights the significant growth of bookshops that operate online only. In 2020, the share of such establishments in the publishing houses’ earnings increased 84%, and these shops generated BRL 923.4 million in sales during the period. “It shows how quickly the retail business adapted to the pandemic scenario in order to assure the continuous book distribution to readers”, points out the president of SNEL.

On the other side, physical bookshops had their share in the earnings of publishers decreased by 32% in comparison with 2019. “Despite all difficulties physical bookshops have been facing, we believe they will recover upon the reopening, since they are crucial for readers to discover new titles and for a good performance of the industry as a whole”, adds the president of CBL.

Last year, Brazilian publishers released 46 titles, 24% of which are new titles (new ISBN) and 76% are reprints.

Click here and see the full research.