The Publishers Association is the industry body representing the interests of book and journal printers. According to its data, UK publishing income in 2018 was GB£ 6 billion, assisted by growth in digital sales, which offset a decrease in traditional book sales. There was a significant increase in audiobook sales income, which grew by 43% to GB£ 69 million in 2018. Journal sales were also up to reach GB£ 2 billion. There are more than 3,200 consumer magazine titles in the UK. Overseas markets remain important for UK publishers, accounting for 59% of totals sales income in 2018, and the UK remains the largest exporter of published books in the world. It is also the world leader in academic publishing. There are an estimated 199,000 jobs in the publishing and print sector in the UK. The Publishers Association has campaigned with others for the removal of 20% VAT imposed on digital format publishing (publications in print format are zero-rated) and the new Government has indicated it will be removed by December 2020.
There are a number of book fairs and literary festivals in England and Wales, e.g. the London International Book Fair and the Hay Festival.
Authors, illustrators, translators and editors can receive royalties for loans from public libraries of their books through the Public Lending Right Scheme (see chapter 4.1.6). The Arts Councils of England and Wales provide grants for writers. ACE will also implement the recommendations of its response to the Camelo report, Literature in the 21st Century: Understanding Models of Support for Literary Fiction, to include growing its support for small/independent publishers of literary fiction and bolstering reader development through establishing a working relationship with the network of independent bookshops.
The Society of Authors is a trade union for writers, illustrators and literary translators that campaigns and lobbies on issues that affect writers. It also administers grants and prizes for authors and administers some literary estates. The Book Trust is the largest reading charity in the UK, reaching an estimated 3.9 million children annually with books, resources and support to stimulate a love of reading and literature. It works in schools, libraries and children’s societies to reach families in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The National Literary Trust is a charity focussing on improving the reading, writing and speaking skills in the poorest communities in the UK. The Poetry Society closed in 2016 after 50 years of operation due to funding cuts.
Literature Across Frontiers is the European Platform for Literary Exchange, Translation and Policy Debate, based at the Mercator Institute for Media, Languages and Culture at Aberystwyth University, Wales. Its report Publishing translated literatures in the United Kingdom and Ireland 1990-2012, published in 2015, provided for the first time reliable data and statistics on the extent of publishing of translations in those countries. It confirms the low amount of published English translations of foreign language books compared with several other European countries, though a steady growth is discernible.
Although newspapers continue to lose readers who receive their news coverage online, they still remain an important course of information (albeit filtered through the lens of particular political viewpoints), especially for older generations.