June 4 – June 11, 2009 Edition

BookExpo Attendees Hear
Of More Book Industry Declines

NEW YORK, NY/Authorlink News/06/04/09–The Book Industry Study Group revealed gloomy numbers from its 2008 Book Industry Trends during BookExpo America, which concluded last week in New York.

Sales of adult trade books (general fiction and nonfiction) fell 2.3 percent to 1.35 billion copies from 1.38 billion in 2007, and net revenues for the segment also declined 2.3 percent to $11.13 billion from $11.39 billion.

Added to the dim report was the fact that BookExpo attendance declined 14 percent from 2007, the last time the event was held in New York. At that time, 35,000 attended the show, versus about 30,000 this year.

The number of books sold in 2008 totaled 3.08 billion, down 1.5 percent from the 3.13 billion copies sold a year ago, Book Industry Trends said in its 2009 annual report. Book industry revenues rose by just 1 percent from $39.9 billion in 2007 to $40.3 billion in 2008, boosted mainly by higher retail prices.

Sales of juvenile books fell by 1.3 percent to 889 million copies, from 901 million copies.

But according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70 percent of retail sales, juvenile book sales for 2008 totaled 154.9 million, up almost 6 percent from 146.2 million in 2007. (The 2008 numbers do not include nontraditional retailers like grocery or drugstores that were added to BookScan’s numbers just last year.)

Other highlights of Nielsen’s report showed sales of religious books, declined 10 percent to 247 million copies from 275 million copies. But electronic books for reading devices such as Amazon’s Kindle or the Sony Reader, rose 7% from $105 million in 2007 to $113 million. Some publishers say the e-book figures are much higher than Nielsen reports.