August Sales

October 15, 2003
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MAIN NEWS HEADLINES

October 15-31, 2003 Edition Children’s Books Up

53.7 Percent

Year-to-Date

August Sales

for Adult Trade Books Fall

While Children’s Book Sales Increase

WASHINGTON, DC/10/04/03—The Association of American Publishers has reported that children’s books sales for August increased 39.8 percent over the previous year’s period to $65.2 million, and year-to-date sales soared 53.7 percent over the previous year. The large increases were mostly based on the June release of the fifth Harry Potter hardcover.

Sales in the children’s young adult paperback category dropped in August, with sales down 9 percent ($34.2 million) for the month. Calendar year to date figures show sales are down 8.4 percent over last year at this time.

The adult trade categories did not fare much better, with hardcover sales down 18 percent ($81.3 million) and paperback down 6.4 percent ($95.6 million). Calendar year to date figures show sales are down 13.2 percent for hardcover and down 5.3 percent for paperback. Sales in the adult mass market segment fell 11.8 percent, with sales of $83.6 million. Year to date figures show sales are down 3.1 percent for the year.

Audio books posted a 15 percent gain in August, with sales of $10.4 million. Calendar year to date numbers show sales are strong, up 22.5 percent for the year. Sales of e-books rose 498 percent, with sales of $600,000 for the month. Year to date numbers show sales are up 220.2 percent for the year overall. While revenues remain small for this category, it continues to exhibit strong growth and shows indications of wider consumer acceptance.

Sales of religious books rose 25.7 percent ($25.3 million) in August. Year to date numbers show sales are up 30.8 percent over last year at this time. University press sales were strong in August, with sales up 12.5 percent ($5.5 million) for hardcover and up 4.3 percent ($7.5 million) for paperback. Calendar year to date figures show sales are up 13.9 percent for hardcover and up 4.7 percent for paperback.

Sales of professional and scholarly books rose 7.5 percent, with sales of $84 million. Year to date numbers show sales are down a slight .5 percent for the year.

Sales in the ‘other’ category were up 1.2 percent ($4.1 million), however, year to date figures show sales are down 20.6 percent for the same period last year.

Sales in the higher education category fell 3.4 percent in August, with sales of $628.8 million. Year to date figures show sales are up a slight .3 percent for the year. El-hi (elementary/high school) basal and supplemental K-12 net sales were up a slight .8 percent for the month of August, with sales of $742.2 million. Year to date figures show sales are up 2.4 percent for the year.

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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