May 25 – June 1, 2006 Edition

Book Industry TRENDS

2006 Shows Publishers’

Revenues at $34.59 Billion

NEW YORK, NY/5/22/06—The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has just released the first truly comprehensive view of U.S. book publishing dollar and unit sales. With net revenues for all books projected to top $40.4 billion by 2010 (reflecting aggregate growth over a five-year period of 16.9 percent since 2005), Book Industry TRENDS 2006 reveals a publishing industry noticeably larger than previously thought.


The 2006 edition of Book Industry TRENDS takes a giant step forward. Using methodology that is standard for both corporations and not-for-profit organizations that need to determine facts about a population too large for one-by-one investigation, BISG quantified sales in the sizable and growing segment of the book publishing industry consisting of companies with annual revenues under $50 million.

Book Industry TRENDS 2006—which couples the new data concerning publishers with under $50 million in annual revenue with data sets from the larger companies previously tracked—estimates that total publishers’ net revenues in 2005 reached $34.59 billion, up slightly more than 5.9 percent over 2004’s total. Sales for the juvenile trade category rose 9.6 percent in 2005, to $3.34 billion. Religious book sales also continued to grow, increasing 8.1 percent to $2.29 billion.

Capturing Additional Data

Despite the size and surging numbers of the small- and midsize-publisher market segment, these publishers have proved difficult to track and have been all but invisible in the aggregate. This is primarily because they are scattered across the country; because many don’t belong to book-industry trade associations; and because they tend to sell not only through book-trade channels that are routinely monitored but also—and in quantity—through sales channels designed mainly to serve other industries, which the book industry does not study.

Three years ago, BISG initiated efforts to capture reliable data about small and midsize publishers with the goal of providing a more comprehensive view of the publishing industry. Realizing that the only way to generate an all-inclusive view of the book market was by directly engaging with the entire body of US publishers and using the denominator common to parties involved in publishing books—ownership of an ISBN—BISG used accepted methodology to conduct both a Web-based survey of ISBN owners and a telephone-based non-response bias test with 500 companies.

As a result of BISG’s small to midsize publisher surveys and the analyses conducted, the figures in Book Industry TRENDS 2006 now reflect sales throughout the entire book publishing universe.

Robert M. Wharton and Albert N. Greco, senior researchers at The Institute for Publishing Research, provided the analyses of data in this volume. Robert Wharton is also a professor and chair of the Department of Management Sciences at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business Administration. Albert Greco is the author of The Book Publishing Industry and the co-editor of Media Economics: Theory and Practice, as well as a professor of marketing at Fordham’s Graduate School of Business Administration.

Tracking Trends Over Time

Book Industry TRENDS has been tracking publishers’ dollar and unit sales for 29 years. TRENDS numbers are quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, Business Week, Publishers Weekly, and many other periodicals that serve book industry professionals, who rely on TRENDS as they plan for the future.

TRENDS 2006 contains estimates for 2004 and 2005 and projections for 2006 through 2010 for the entire book publishing universe. With the exception of a short section consisting of Traditional Summary Data tables, all figures in this year’s TRENDS are based on data about the full range of small and midsize publishers coupled with data about the more visible large houses which has dominated TRENDS tallies in the past.

The findings in Book Industry TRENDS 2006 provide valuable new information on a substantial segment of the book business and represent a turning point in the way we look at and describe book publishing. No longer limited to information from and about traditional publishing houses and bookselling channels, and no longer limited by narrow governmental or industry definitions, BISG can now unveil an up-to-date report that reveals a substantially larger industry.

For more information, or to order a copy of Book Industry TRENDS 2006, visit