Prague Daily Monitor provides some background about the Czech language book industry, catering to a market of about 10 million Czechs.
Some 15,000 publications are annually issued in the Czech Republic, which is three times more than in former Czechoslovakia, Jaroslav Cisar from the Association of Czech Booksellers and Publishers told CTK on the opening day of the BookWorld fair today.For perspective, a Radio Praha report from March 2006 says
The number of publishers has been increasing, but books are published in smaller editions, Cisar said. Fiction books are published in editions of 1500, while poetry books of 800 volumes. About twenty books a year sell more than 20,000. Czechs have shown growing interest in books for children as their sales increased by half over the past five years. He said that it was a surprise that Czechs are not interested in electronic books and Internet publishing houses. People still prefer buying books in classical book shops.
The highest number of books, or over 16,000, was published in 2003. Cisar said that one-third of new books are translations, mainly from English, German and French. He said that the Czech Republic is remarkable with the high number of translated publications.
The number of books translated from Slovak and Russian has been growing recently, he said. The Slovak book market is considerably smaller and Slovak publishers therefore issue some of their books also in Czech. As far as Russian books are concerned, negative attitude to Russian culture has gradually been lowering after the 1989 downfall of communism in the country.
There are some 3500 publishing houses registered in the Czech Republic and about 400 of them issue books regularly.
A population forecast released this week by the EU statistics office Eurostat predicts that by the year 2050 the number of Czechs will drop from 10 million to 8,800,000. Without immigration, the population might plummet to 8.1 million.