10 Facts about Sardinian publishing How did 2018 pan out for small and medium-sized Sardinian publishers?
As we await the definitive data, including those for the Christmas period, we can state that the local market suffered around a 20% decrease with respect to the previous year. This drop affected some sectors more than others, and the absence of bestsellers certainly had a part to play.
On the island, the number of independent bookshops fell, while the number of franchised outlets and nationwide chain bookstores increased. In addition, there was an exponential increase in sales by Amazon (around 30%), which continues to erode the market of specialist retailers.
What is the state of health of the book publishing industry in Sardinia?
The thirty or so companies actively operating on the island have generally suffered from this economic downturn (some rather seriously), which seems destined to continue. There are certain publishing houses that are resisting strenuously, reducing their staff numbers and using the wages guarantee fund mechanism and job-security contracts. Some are even facing bankruptcy.
The gradual drop-off in sales is frustrating efforts to turn the situation around and is also problematising investments in production. Facing myriad challenges, not least the indifference of those who should be working hard to steer the industry, companies have demonstrated great resolve, for the most part on an individual basis, reacting to the crisis by reducing print runs and cutting the number of titles published, purely with a view to keeping costs down. There are a few isolated cases in which the trend is being bucked.
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