February 15-28, 2005 Edition

Publishing Sales

Figures Mixed

in December

New York, NY/02/04/05—December sales figures grew in several categories tracked by the Association of American Publishers providing a year-end boost for some; however, other categories did not fare as well. Most notably, children’s young adult hardcover books had a banner month, and the adult paperback category witnessed a similar gain, tempering the returns of other categories, as well as providing a boost for those categories.

Sales of adult hardcover books lost 4.9 percent in December, with sales of $98.2 million (up 6.3 percent for the year). Adult paperback sales witnessed a 9.4 percent growth in December (with sales of $95.9 million), with the year to date figure up 2.8 percent. The adult mass market category lost 30.6 percent in December, with sales of $61.1 million for this category, which lost 8.9 percent in 2004.

The children’s and young adult hardcover category posted an astronomical 90.5 percent gain in December ($49.4 million); this category, however, retains a 16.7 percent lower sales figure than last year’s year to date figure. The children’s and young adult paperback publishing sales witnessed a 12.0 percent gain in December with sales totaling $26.9 million. This category has gained 3.8 in 2004.

Audio book sales witnessed a 19.3 percent decline in December ($10.1 million), and sales dipped slightly for the year by 0.7 percent. E-books sales grew by 47.7 percent in December ($100,000); this rapidly expanding category is up 53.0 percent for the year. Religious books made gains in December as well; sales were up 0.5 percent (totaling $22.7 million). This category maintains a 5.6 percent year to date growth figure.

Sales for university press hardcover books suffered a 12.2 percent loss in December ($15.3 million). This category has lost 7.8 percent for the year. Sales in the university press paperback category lost 26.1 percent in December (sales totaled $31.2 million); this category is down 11.4 percent for the year. Sales in the professional and scholarly category grew 2.3 percent in December, with sales of $102.8 million; sales in that category are up 2.0 percent for the year. Sales of ‘other’ types of books also grew in December by a 27.8 percent margin for the month, and the year to date figure is 30.0 percent higher than last year’s figures. Sales in December totaled 3.7 million.

Higher education publishing sales declined 0.6 percent in December ($736.1 million); this category is up 1.8 percent for the year. Finally, the net el-hi (elementary/high school) basal and supplemental K-12 category lost 6.2 percent in December, with sales of $130.0 million, allowing for a 0.1 percent year to date growth rate.

The Association of American Publishers is the principal trade association for the U.S. book publishing industry with over 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.