November 15-30, 2004 Edition

Publishing Sales

Remain Buoyant

in September

New York, NY/11/09/04—Publishing sales dropped slightly as summer wound down. Year to date sales were up in ten categories tracked by the Association of American Publishers (AAP), after September publishing sales were recorded; however, sales were down slightly in nine of the fourteen categories for the month. Sales have continued to hover above last years numbers by a slight 0.1 percent.

Sales of adult hardcover books declined 11.9 percent in September, with sales of $157.9 million (up 10.2 percent for the year). Adult paperback sales lost 8.3 percent in September (with sales of $102.8 million), with the year to date figure up 0.4 percent. The adult mass market category slid 17.8 percent in September, with sales of $48.6 million for this category (down 7.6 percent in 2004).

The children’s and young adult hardcover category posted a slight loss of 3.7 percent in September ($70.1 million); this category has fallen below the 2003 year to date figure by 32.1 percent. The children’s and young adult paperback publishing sales yielded a loss in September of 13.6 percent with sales totaling $36.4 million. This category continues to gain and is now up 3.1 percent for the year.

Audio book sales witnessed an 11.2 percent loss in September ($11.6 million). Sales are still sluggish for the year, that category is down 3.4 percent for 2004. E-book sales grew in September by 61.6 percent ($800,000); this rapidly expanding category is up 62.0 percent for the year. Religious books made noteworthy gains in September; sales were up 11.8 percent (totaling $37.3 million). That category maintains a 23.6 percent year to date growth figure.

Sales for university press hardcover books witnessed a 29.1 percent loss ($14.9 million) in September. That category has maintained a 2.9 percent lead over last year. Sales in the university press paperback category lost 43.2 percent for September (sales totaled $18.8 million); the paperback category is up a narrow 1.2 percent for the year. Sales in the professional and scholarly category posted a gain of 6.6 percent in September, with sales of $58.3 million; sales in that category hover above 2003 year to date sales figures by 0.7 percent. Sales of ‘other’ types of books gained 16.3 percent in September ($3.0 million); similarly, that category maintains a 29.4 percent lead over last year’s figures.

Higher education publishing sales lost 5.6 percent in September ($191.8 million); this category is up 1.7 percent for the year. Finally, the net El-hi (elementary/high school) basal and supplemental K-12 category yielded a 17.1 percent gain in September, with sales of $356.6 million; however, El-hi sales experienced a slight slip in the year to date number, which is down 1.0 percent for 2004.

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.