Book market

A new report on the Indian book market

With more than 90% of their market in educational publishing, Indian publishers report an optimistic assessment of the business.

In a book market in Mumbai. Image — Getty iStockphoto: Jedraszak

By Porter Anderson, Editor | @Porter_Anderson

‘A Pivotal role in the diffusion of Kknowledge’

In an optimistic report published in time for the Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 19-23) by Nielsen BookData and the Federation of Indian PublishersIndia’s print market is expected to reach nearly US$12 billion by the end of 2024.

Part of the intent of the report, of course, is to demonstrate the value of the industry to the overall economy of this very large country. In Frankfurt, you will find the stand of the National Book Trust of India at Room 6.0, B28.

During the years 2018 to 2019, the publishing sector in India, the report tells us, contributed 145.3 billion Indian rupees to the overall economy ($1.8 billion). The direct contribution is estimated at 0.08% of the country’s total gross domestic product.

Pranav Gupta, co-secretary of the federation, is quoted, saying: “The Indian publishing industry is a vital part of the Indian economy and has grown rapidly over the past few years.

Pranav Gupta

“It also helps substantially to the country’s employment rate and plays a central role in disseminating knowledge, invariably contributing to the solid development of the cultured ethos of the country.

Several other points of interest can be found in the summary.

  • The Indian industry, in this assessment, has over 24,000 operating publishers.
  • India’s printed book market was estimated at 720.6 billion rupees in 2019-20 ($8.8 billion).
  • According to the report, this market valuation is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 19.4% between 2023/2024 and 2025/2026.
  • This is a printing market, 71% of which comes from the school sector, with a further 25% for higher education. The contribution of the commercial segment is valued by the report at only 4%.

The report cites the gross domestic product of the Indian economy as growing at 8.9% per year until 2021, and speaks of an excellent “post-pandemic recovery”.

Of course, caution is in order here. In his September speech, the World Health Organization has not called for an end to the pandemic. Indeed, many cultures are watching with suspicion as the numbers rise towards what could be a winter resurgence of the pathogen, and even in Germany the head of the hospital association has called for a return to a mask mandate. interior, as reported Saturday by Deutsche Wellebecause the normal functioning of the hospital is called into question.

In terms of print output, however, the report’s summary states: “We are already ranked as the world’s third largest market for print book publishing.

“By harnessing government aid to strengthen our self-reliance in this segment and reaping the benefits of our position as the world’s second-largest economy in English-speaking countries, India could indeed eventually become the center of publishing if efforts multiple industry stakeholders are closely allied in the appropriate direction.

In point of market demographics, this chart is of some help:

Image: Federation of Indian Publishers

Several points on the challenges of this specific industry are also helpful, not least because we see these points as a reflection on the “cost of doing business” challenges faced in so many global publishing markets today.

“There have always been hidden and obvious hurdles to publishing in India,” the summary reads, “but distribution has always been the biggest.

“This difficulty is at the heart of the fundamental problem of erratic cash flow, which stems from a prolonged credit cycle. Similar variations in the price of raw materials used in the production of the publishing industry must also be taken into account.

“This includes an increase in the price of paper and pulp, which is a component of production and raw material costs. Publishers have racked up losses due to the huge increase in it compared to the slight increase in book prices, making their situation in India less than optimal.

Nevertheless, the report claims that “In India, all three segments of the publishing market – textbooks, higher education and commercial books – have bright prospects.”

Vikrant Mathur

Vikrant Mathur, Executive Director of Nielsen BookData India, says: “The India Book Market Report 2022 strong points the potential of print book publishing in India.

“It helps to better understand the market, its economic contribution to the Indianot economy and make recommendations to help bring efficiencythat’s to say at the India editing sector.

“Nielson BookData is confident that this report will prove informative and valuable to industry stakeholdersnot only in India but alsoh at those looking to invest in India.”

If you would like to purchase a copy of the new India Book Market Report 2022, you can contact [email protected] or [email protected]


More information on Publishing Perspectives on academic and scholarly publishing is here, and more on the Indian market is here.

To learn more about the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and its impact on international book publishing, click here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident member of Trends Research & Advisory, and was named International Business Journalist of the Year at the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards. He is editor of Publishing Perspectives. He was previously associate editor of The FutureBook at The Bookseller in London. Anderson was a senior producer and anchor for CNN.com, CNN International and CNN USA for more than a decade. As an art critic (National Critics Institute), he has collaborated with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which is now owned and operated by Jane Friedman.