Penguin Ireland Now The Largest Trade Publisher BASED in Ireland?

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On the face it might seem like a crazy suggestion that Penguin Ireland, less than a decade after being set up could possibly be the largest Irish-based trade publisher.

When you look at the headline figures for sales from the Irish Consumer Market as compiled by Nielsen Bookscan*, that seems to reinforce that impression. Gill & MacMillan, who are clearly the largest Irish-based publisher had 2009 sales figure of 284,827 units and €4,601,032.25 in value spread across 988 ISBNs. See the data in a google spreadsheet here.

Penguin Ireland had in comparison sales in 2009 of 208,467 units and € 2,858,771.43 spread across only 120 ISBNs. See the data in a google spreadsheet here.

Clearly Gill & MacMillan, as a publisher, is bigger. BUT that is for the whole market. If we wanted to see the figure for just trade sales we’d need to subtract the titles that fall outside the trade (which for Gill & MacMillan is a substantial chunk of their sales) the results are quite different.

As can be seen in the spreadsheet I have gone through each of the 988 G&M titles and assigned a T for Trade or E for Education to each one. Feel free to check the titles I’ve assigned to Trade and those I have assign to Education, where I was in doubt I checked the Gill & MacMillan website, but errors can happen in large data-sets like this. It would require a large error for the result to change markedly.

In any case, when you complete this task (You can see the calculations here) and sort for Trade, Gill & MacMillan had trade sales in 2009 of 179,559 units and €2,686,016.04. Penguin’s titles are all Trade books. That means that Penguin’s sales are 28,908 units and €172,755.39 larger than Gill & MacMillan’s trade business, making Penguin Ireland the largest Irish-based Trade Publisher.

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Note: Nielsen Bookscan does not reflect sales of all books sold and depending on the title can reflect anything for 30-80%, the more commercial the title, the more likely it is to be recorded with accuracy.

Note: Irish-based may seem a strange way to analyse the Irish market, but considering the massive impact the UK based publishers have on the Irish market, I think it is a reasonable standard to use.