Britain Surpasses Iceland In Most Book Titles Per Capita - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Britain Surpasses Iceland In Most Book Titles Per Capita

Photos by
Timothée Lambrecq

While Iceland may be world famous for their love of books, their long-standing position of publishing the most titles per capita has been overtaken by the UK.

A new report (.pdf) from the International Publishers Association (IPA) puts Britain in the top spot for most titles published per capita. 2,710 titles per million inhabitants were published in the UK in 2015, compared to 2,628 titles per million in Iceland.

There was also a noted decline in published titles in both countries between 2014 and 2015. In the UK, titles declined by 21.48% between these years; in Iceland, they decreased by 5.35%.

“In the UK, Brazil and Iceland, there would appear to be a direct correlation between a drop in number of titles published and a fall in publishers’ revenues, although this correlation is by no means applicable to every market,” IPA notes. “China, for instance, produced many more titles yet saw a drop in revenues.”

That said, Iceland is still no slouch when it comes to publishing, not least of all for a country of just over 330,000 people. In fact, despite its small size, Iceland was ranked one of the top publishing markets by revenue in the world; in 13th place in fact, surpassing Switzerland, Sweden and Australia.


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