Book market

From Iceland – Inflation will affect the Christmas book market

Inflation due to the current energy crisis in Europe will likely affect the prices of many consumer goods, including Christmas books, reports RÚV.

Books are a traditional Christmas gift in Iceland, which is why many new arrivals arrive just in time for the holiday season.

Heiðar Ingi Svansson, President of the Association of Icelandic Book Publishers, said some price increases are inevitable: “The main factor is the energy crisis in Europe which is leading to higher energy prices for paper production . In recent years, the supply of paper for book printing has also decreased due to the greater concentration of paper manufacturers on the production of paper for the production of packaging, due to the increase in sales in line.

According to Heiðar, the Icelandic publishing industry is highly dependent on Northern Europe: “The increase in transport costs around the world and the fact that the state reimbursement of part of the production costs Limit to printing in Europe means it is not possible for publishers to print books elsewhere in the world. Additionally, environmental considerations, including carbon footprint, play a major role,” he said.

Heiðar says that the fact that it is difficult to increase the production of book paper also has a considerable effect since a large part of the production of wood in Europe is destined for export for uses other than production. of paper. This means that the time between the moment the book is printed and its arrival in bookstores increases.

Publishing houses across Europe have been forced to add a special energy surcharge to their printing prices due to rising energy prices following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Icelandic book publishers print most of their books at print shops on the mainland and therefore face steep increases in the cost of publications.

“Now, however, we have reached the point where we are looking forward to a 50-150% increase in the price of printing year-on-year,” says Egill Örn Jóhannsson, Publishing Manager at Forlagin . “But we at Forlagin are going to do everything in our power to contain book price increases before Christmas. The Christmas Book is by far the most popular Christmas gift for people in the country, and we plan to do everything we can to keep it that way.