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The Annual Israeli Book Week Report 2016

As the yearly Israeli Book Week approaches, the National Library of Israel has published the annual data report on Israel's book industry. The data touches on original Israeli books, translated books, types of publishing and areas of publication.


Through the annual publication of the publishing house data, the National Library of Israel works to pinpoint the literary, social and cultural trends in Israel.


A few of the trends we have decided to examine this year in the book industry over the years 2007-2016: prose and poetry books in Hebrew and children's books in Hebrew and Arabic.


Some interesting data points

 •  According to the National Library's estimate, about 7300 books were published in print in 2016. Of them, 89% were published in Hebrew and approximately 3% were published in Arabic.

 •  Of all authors and writers, only 35% are women. According to population groups, 48% of the prose writers and children's literature in the Haredi community are women, compared to 40% of women in the general public.



 •  Approximately 75 prose books written in the genre of 'romantic novel' and erotic literature this year. The majority of them were written by women.

 •  There was an increase in original Israeli children's literature in Arabic, but only a little of it is intended for children aged 8-16, and the vast majority is intended for children of preschool age.

 •  Nearly 40% of commercial books are published by the top ten publishers. Approximately 46% of books published are by 200 small publishers.

 •  Over the past decade, between 1300 and 1150 prose books a year have been published in Israel, including translations. In recent years, there has been a slight downward trend in the number of prose books published in Hebrew.

 •  65% of the prose books published in Israel in the last decade were original Israeli prose.

 •  In the last decade, the majority of the original literature was written in Hebrew, but a considerable percentage was also written in Russian, Arabic and English. Other original Israeli books are published in French and Romanian as well as in Yiddish.



 •  Over the past decade, some 1000 children's books were published per year in the country.


 •  Poetry books have seen an increase in publication in the last decade. The majority of them (at 70%) are published by commercial publishers.

 •  In Israel there is a clear preference for original poetry over translated poetry, which consists less than 10% of the poetry published.

 •  Of the original poetry books published in Israel, Hebrew is the dominant language (80%), but the next language is not English but Russian (13%).


In conclusion, National Library of Israel director Oren Weinberg notes that in recent years publishers have become increasingly aware of the importance of submitting books, newspapers, and all other publications relevant to the National Library. This greatly improves the library's ability to evaluate and measure the significance of the information and material it receives.


"With proper analysis of patterns in publishing and the types of publications, we are able to follow currents, trends and other variables in the consumption of books; these patterns can also indicate changes and shifts in the fields of interest within Israeli society. Moreover, changes in publishing patterns and interests may affect the authors, the bookshops, and ultimately affect us - the consumers," says Weinberg.