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Book market in Sweden - statistics & facts

The Swedish book industry is changing. Just five years ago, sales from physical bookstores accounted for the lion’s share publishers’ revenue, but the figure fell below 400 million Swedish kronor in 2020 whilst digital outlets continued to prosper. Direct sales to companies and institutions also dropped to less than 100 million SEK that year, and Swedish book publisher income is now comprised mostly of revenue from digital resellers and internet bookstores. Revenue derived from digital resellers grew by more than threefold between in five years and surpassed 600 million SEK for the first time in 2020, and sales from online stores reached 540 million SEK that year.

Digital books in Sweden

Although the number of new e-book releases quadrupled in the last decade, Swedes still prefer to read printed books. According to a survey on daily media usage in Sweden, more than 40 percent of respondents read books each day, whereas data on online formats were significantly less popular, with less than 20 percent of Swedes listening to audiobooks or reading e-books each day. A separate study investigating e-book reading frequency revealed that more than 60 percent of Swedes aged 16 years and above had never read an e-book, along with over 70 percent of children and teens aged between 11 and 19 years old.

Swedish publishers

The Swedish book market is dominated by Albert Bonnier AB. A ranking of publishing companies in Sweden revealed that Albert Bonnie has a turnover of 20.8 billion Swedish kronor, more than Dolby International AB, Qliktech International AB, Microsoft AB, and Mojang AB combined. Bonnier Carlsen, also part of the Bonnier Group, is the leading publisher of children’s and youth books, releasing over 250 titles in 2020, far outranking Rabén & Sjögren and Tukan. Around two thousand children’s books are published each year, meaning that Carlsen’s number of titles accounting more than ten percent of the annual total.

Future outlook

The future of the Swedish book industry will see revenues from digital resale and online stores continue to rise. However, when it comes to digital books themselves, there is a long road ahead before readers come to embrace e-books and audiobooks. Although Swedish book publishers’ revenue streams are predominantly digital, this revenue ultimately comes from physical books sold through online channels, and the prospect of the full digitalization of Swedish book market remains a distant one.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 28 most important statistics relating to "Book market in Sweden".


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