June 26 – July 3, 2008 Edition

AAP Says Book

Sales Down in April,

But Stable for the Year

NEW YORK, NY/6/23/08–Book sales tracked by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) for the month of April decreased by 3.5 percent to $473 million, and remained flat for the year. The report was in stark contract to the U.S. Census Bureau’s June sales report, which showed April sales rose 8.0% to $1.0 billion. The two entities use different analyses for calculating sales. Figures in the AAP report reflect domestic net sales. The hardcover category is taking a huge hit, probably as a result of the troubled US economy, while less expensive trade and mass market paper copies performed better. E-book sales took an impressive leap of nearly 20% for April. The sale of religious books, thought to be on the rise, also saw a significant drop.

The AAP reported that the Adult Hardcover category was down by 4.6 percent in April with sales of $110.0 million; year-to-date sales were decreased by 14.5 percent. Adult Paperback sales rose 4.5 percent for the month ($118.3 million); sales were up by 18.2 percent for the year. The Adult Mass Market category increased by 4.7 percent for April with sales totaling $53.2 million; sales increased by 1.7 percent year-to-date. The Children’s/YA Hardcover category saw a decrease of 19.9 percent for the month with sales of $39.0 million; additionally, sales for year-to-date dropped by 12.0 percent. The Children’s/YA Paperback category was down by 3.1 percent in March with sales totaling $39.3 million; however, sales were up by 4.8 percent for the year.

Audio Book sales posted an increase of 1.7 percent in April, with sales totaling $12.6 million; though sales for the whole year were down by 13.0 percent. E-books sales rose by 19.9 percent for the month ($3.4 million); the category also posted an increase of 36.1 percent for the year. Religious Books saw a decrease of 21.5 percent for the month with sales of $34.2 million; sales were down by 14.1 percent for the year.

Sales of University Press Hardcover books rose 12.1 percent in April with sales of $5.6 million; sales were up by 0.3 percent for the year. University Press Paperback sales posted a decrease of 2.0 percent for the month with sales totaling $2.7 million; sales were down 4.7 percent for the year. Sales in the Professional and Scholarly category rose 3.6 percent in March ($44.2 million); and, sales were up by 5.0 percent for the year.

Higher Education publishing sales decreased by 30.5 percent for the month ($8.0 million), reflecting a 8.5 percent increase for the year. Finally, the net El-Hi (elementary/high school) basal and supplemental K-12 category posted an increase of 4.6 percent in April with sales of $196.5 million; this category was also up by 3.7 percent for the year.

The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association of the US book publishing industry. AAP’s more than 300 members include most of the major commercial publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies­small and large. AAP members publish hardcover and paperback books in every field, educational materials for the elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and professional markets, scholarly journals, computer software, and electronic products and services. The protection of intellectual property rights in all media, the defense of the freedom to read and the freedom to publish at home and abroad, and the promotion of reading and literacy are among the Association’s highest priorities.