Austria has 1,479 publishing companies, 280 periodical publishers and 100 newspaper publishers in an industry structure composed primarily of small and mid-sized companies. There are 5,200 authors in Austria, 400 of them working full-time. With its 3.65 million private households, the book market generates annual sales of $2.5 billion. In comparison with the Austrian CPI, books have become relatively cheaper in 2011. The average price of hard and softcover books, paperbacks and audio books amounted to $18.97, $12.75 and $19.67, respectively.
Of the 7,764 individual new releases in Austria in 2010, 707 or just 9.1% were foreign or multi-lingual. The foreign publications were released in 25 languages, of which English had the largest share with 54.7%, Slovenian ranking second with 4.6%. Of the 338 translated publications in Austria in 2010, 70% were in English, 7% in French, 4% in Slovenian and 14% in Swedish. (Source: Statistik der österreichischen Buchproduktion 2010, Association of the Austrian Book Trade)
I n publishing, the trend towards the digitalization of content is ongoing. More and more books are being posted on the Internet, but the costs are still very high since the process of digitalization involves expensive manual or mechanical handling. 17% of Austria’s publishing companies have already published e-books. Another 21.7% planned to publish electronic publications in 2011, while 42.3% plan to do this in 2012 or at a later point. 33.3% of publishing companies have already invested in e-books, while 50% plan to follow within the next two years. Austrian publishing companies focus on the electronic book market in order to attract new customers and increase revenues. Smartphones, e-readers and tablet PCs will continuously increase the demand for electronic publications, while at the same time lowering the price for consumers due to a decrease in production costs. (Source: Association of the Austrian Book Trade)
Book sales are still dominated by Austria’s 1,918 individual bookstores. In 2005 31% of book sales were made through a chain compared to 38% in 2009 and 31.4% in 2012. Approximately 17.5% of book sales were made via the Internet. This is an increase of 18% compared to the previous year. Although individual bookstores still dominate the market, the internet will become increasingly important in capturing larger market shares from individual bookstores. (Source: Association of the Austrian Book Trade)
Because of its proximity and shared language, Germany is Austria’s premier trading partner in books, with approximately 80% of new book releases in Austria imported from Germany and approximately 80% of Austrian book exports going to Germany.