AAP Reports Publishers Recovering From Earlier Year Sales Losses

February 1, 2004
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February 1-15, 20004 Edition

AAP Reports Publishers Recovering

From Earlier Year Sales Losses

NEW YORK, NY/2/2/04—Publishers have rung in the New Year with fewer losses and more gains in domestic, as well as elementary and high school publishing sales for December.Solid gains during the holiday season brought sales back up to par with, and in some categories beyond, 2002 net sales, according to the latest report from the Association of American Publishers.

Sales of adult hardcover books gained 11.9 percent in December 2003 compared to December 2002, with sales of $103.3 million.Calendar year to date figures were down only 2.4 percent for the year compared to larger deficits incurred earlier in the fall.

Adult paperback sales realized gains of 27.7 percent, totaling $88.6 million for the month. The adult mass market category also grew tremendously by 26.5 percent, with sales totaling $92 million. Year to date figures, however, showed sales were still down 1.7 percent for the year in this category despite year-end gains.

The children’s hardcover category posted a small gain of 5 percent as compared with December 2002, with sales of $24.3 million.Year to date figures were strong, with sales up 28.6 percent over last year.The children’s paperback category grew as well, but a 29.1 percent gain in December ($22 million) could not make up for earlier losses and the children’s paperback category lost 5.2 percent overall for the year.

Audio books amassed a 29 percent growth, with sales of $12.6 million (12.3 percent growth in 2003). E-books witnessed another tremendous month with sales up 159.8 percent, with sales totaling $700,000. Due to the relatively small size of the category, incremental growth made for a 169.5 percent boon in 2003 for E-books.Religious books also posted strong numbers in December, with sales up 36.6 percent ($20.8 million) from last December.Year to date figures showed sales were up 50.2 percent for the year.

Sales of university press hardcover books grew a decent 17.9 percent from December 2002 ($7.4 million), which was bolstered by the 15.8 percent growth ($10.2 million) in university press paperbacks.Year-end numbers showed increases as well; university press hardcover books gained 11.4 percent, and 7.4 percent gains were made in the university press paperback category. Sales in the professional and scholarly category rose 25.8 percent in December, with sales of $95.4 million.Year to date numbers showed sales were up by a narrow 3.6 percent for the year overall.Sales of‘other’ types of books showed an increase of 31.1 percent from December 2002 with sales of $2.9 million.Year-end figures showed numbers were down an overall 16.9 percent this year for this catchall category

Higher education sales were 16.8 percent greater in December, totaling $744.4 million.Year to date figures showed sales were up 3.6 percent for the year, final month gains were critical in bringing this growth.El-hi (elementary/high school) basal and supplemental K-12 net sales were up 14.8 percent in December, with sales of $139.2 million.Calendar year to date numbers showed sales in this category gained 2.5 percent in 2003.

The Association of American Publishers is the principal trade association for the U.S. book publishing industry with some 300 members, comprising most of the major commercial book publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and medium-sized houses, non-profit publishers, university presses, and scholarly societies.

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