Romanian book market estimated at 70 million euros

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Although there are few official statistics, total sales on the Romanian book market are put by the main players at 60-70 million euros in 2007.
According to some statistics, Romanians spend 3 euro a year per person on books, which is 8 times less than what Polish and Hungarians do, and tens of times less than what Western Europeans do. Despite smaller book prices, of some 10 euros on the average, local book consumption places Romania last in the European Union, data carried by daily Ziarul financiar reveal.
 
Hungary, for instance, with a population two times smaller than Romania’s, reported 2005 book sales of 250 million euros, one third of which was generated by the sales of school textbooks, data posted on the web site of the Frankfurt Book Fair indicate.
In 2007, there were 15,300 titles published in Romania. Average book runs in Romania are 1,500 copies, compared with 4,000 in Bulgaria.
 
The main players ascribe the slow development of the Romanian book market to an inefficient book distribution network, small promotion budgets and a diminished local purchasing power.
General Manager of Curtea Veche publishing house Iren Arsene says the funds earmarked for book advertising and consumption in Romania are very small.
The paper notes that still there are no exact figures about the Romanian book market because there are no official statistics or relevant surveys.
 
The only figures worth mentioning are those provided by the Legal Deposit of the National Library of Romania, where book titles published are recorded, by the Association of Romanian Publishers and officials of local publishing houses. In 2007, there were 5,000 local publishing houses recorded with the National Library, 182 of which were newly established and 748 asked for ISBNs, meaning they are still in the business. The remaining either used numbers previously taken out or had no publishing business in the year.
 
Currently, there are no statistics by categories at the ISBN-ISSN-CIP National Centre. In 2007, there were 15,310 titles registered with the statistics office of the centre throughout September, up 6.5% from the year before.
Daily Business standard says the main players on the Romanian book market put the value of the market at between 60 and 100 million euros. The most important competitors are the Humanitas, Polirom, Corint, ALL, Nemira, RAO, Paralela 45, Teora, Curtea Veche, Trei and Egmont publishing houses.
 
Most of the publishing houses are expecting a 20-25% rise in the market in 2008 on increased demand for books and a change in consumer sentiment. ALL COO Gabriel Scinteia says out of the total value of the Romanian book market, the publishing houses are claiming a 65% share, with the remaining share held by bookshop operators. According to him, the Romanian market for publishing houses should reach 65 million euros in 2008, up some 20% from 2007. ALL is controlling about 7.5% of the market and is expecting a 2008 business turnover of some 5 million euros.
 
Polirom is also betting on positive developments in 2008, meaning a turnover of about 7.5 million euros, up more than 26% from 2008. The group’s market share is put at more than 10%.
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