Publishing market: what to expect for 2022


After the start of the pandemic surprised and devastated markets around the world, the economy opens a new cycle in 2022. The prognosis for the Brazilian and global publishing market is one of optimism and recovery, thanks to the reopening of physical bookstores and the return of in-person events.

According to the vice-president of the International Publishers Association (IPA) and director of the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL), Karine Pansa, the market is off to a strong start to the year. “It is a period of adaptation and resilience. The publishing sector in several countries has grown in terms of the number of businesses and there has also been an effective recovery in book sales since last year”, she comments.

Karine believes that the usual challenges regarding copywriting and freedom of publication, which are the two main pillars of the IPA, continue, but she remains hopeful. “I see the global market heated up as a whole, we had drops and then expressive recoveries”, she explains.

Vitor Tavares, president of the Brazilian Book Chamber, also shares a similar view to Karine’s. “We do not yet have the CBL’s annual sales survey data for the year 2021, but we know they will be better, as bookstores reopen. I am confident and very happy with the return of in-personprograms, especially the physical edition of the São Paulo International Book Fair, which takes place in July. After two years, a positive cycle begins”, says the president of CBL, Vitor Tavares.

The return of the in-person events is also well regarded by Fernanda Dantas, executive manager of Brazilian Publishers – a project for the internationalization of Brazilian publishing content carried out through a partnership between Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil).

“Last year we already had a significant recovery. For 2022, we expect this growth to be even better, with the return of face-to-face activities and the adaptation of publishers to digital”, she says. Fernanda is talking about the initial business balance for 2021 of the publishers participating in Brazilian Publishers, which reveals a reheating of the global book market. Estimates indicate that the 56 publishers participating in the Program closed the year with approximately USD 600,000 in book sales and USD 450,000 in copyright and services. The estimated result shows good growth when compared to 2020, which in total moved only USD 636 thousand.

“In 2021, some events have already taken place in person, such as the Guadalajara International Book Fair and the Sharja International Book Fair. The trend for 2022 is even more optimistic, with lots of physical events being scheduled, especially the London and the Bologna Book Fairs, in which the Brazilian delegation already has a confirmed participation”, explains Fernanda.

Karine believes that to ensure the safety of editors, authors, and event visitors, all precautions must be taken, such as wearing a mask. “I feel that consumers are willing to participate in these events. These shows attracted a lot of interest from the public, which shows that people want to attend them again”, explains Karine.

The importance of digital

The vice president also points out the importance of digital in the recovery of the post-pandemic publishing market. She mentions two initiatives by the IPA, at different times. The first is a survey called “From response to recovery”, which measures the impact of Covid-19 on the world’s publishing industry, and the other is the “International Sustainable Publishing and Industry Resilience Plan (InSPIRe)”, whose objective was to put together several productive chains Both have confirmed that in societies in which the industry and the Internet model were already better developed and prepared in relation to market technologies, such as the use of e-commerce, e-book, and audio book, the market was able to catch up and recover much faster than in places where these tools were little used.

“I believe that after two years, we have a market that has managed to adapt as a whole, however, some regions still suffer from a lack of local development. I see this same situation in Brazil, which is such a big country and with such different regions. In more developed regions, the market recovery was much more expressive, and in less developed regions, this recovery is a little slower and gradual. So, we cannot talk about the growth of an entire market in global or national terms, but by regions”, concludes the executive.

About Brazilian Publishers

Created in 2008, Brazilian Publishers is a sector-oriented project to foster exports of Brazilian publishing content, the result of a partnership between the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil). The initiative aims to promote the Brazilian publishing sector in the global market in a guided and articulated manner, contributing to the professionalization of publishers.