January 15-31, 2005 Edition

Publishing Sales

Gain Momentum

in November

New York, NY/01/13/05—Publishing sales in November signalled a potential upswing in publishing sales numbers for 2004. Ten categories tracked by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) grew in November providing for double-digit gains. Adult and children’s hardcover sales, as well as Elementary and High School (Elhi) sales witnessed the largest growth.

Sales of adult hardcover books grew 28.9 percent in November, with sales of $150.0 million (up 7.1 percent for the year). Adult paperback sales grew an impressive 19.3 percent (with sales of $99.2 million), with the year to date figure back up at 2.3 percent. The adult mass market category did, however, lose 17.5 percent in November, with sales of $46.6 million for this category, maintaining a slight deficit in the year to date figure; this category is down 5.7 percent for the year.

The children’s and young adult hardcover category posted an enormous gain of 49.3 percent in November ($50.0 million). This category is down 22.4 percent for the year. The children’s and young adult paperback publishing sales gained a slightly smaller 7.0 percent with sales totaling $25.5 million for November. This category is up 3.0 percent for the year.

Audio books grew 22.5 percent ($14.6 million) in November; midyear losses in this category had stunted early year growth; however, this category is still up by 1.1 percent for the year. E-books grew slightly in November, posting a 26.0 percent gain ($600,000). E-books maintain an encouraging 52.6 percent margin of growth for the year. Religious books witnessed a second month of losses. That category was down 36.1 percent in November ($30.0 million). Religious publishing sales are up 6.0 percent for the year.

Sales of university press hardcover books posted a 27.7 percent loss ($9.2 million) in November. This category maintains a year to date deficit of 7.3 percent. Sales in the university press paperback category suffered a slight 4.2 percent setback (sales totaled $17.5 million); this category continues to lag by 9.1 percent for the year. Sales in the professional and scholarly category grew 1.4 percent in November, with sales totaling $59.1 million. The professional and scholarly category is up 2.3 percent for the year. Finally, sales of ‘other’ types of books grew 46.8 percent in November with sales of $2.4 million. This catchall category has gained 30.3 percent for the year.

Higher education publishing sales witnessed gains of 22.4 percent ($202.3 million). Publishing sales are up 2.7 percent for the year for this category. Elhi (elementary/high school) basal and supplemental K-12 net sales gained 25.3 percent in November, with sales totaling $114.8 million, allowing for 0.3 percent growth for the year.

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.