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ABA, AAP See Gain in Book Sales For the Year

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MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
February 21 – February 28, 2008 Edition

ABA, AAP See

Gain in Book

Sales For the Year

NEW YORK, NY/2/21/08–Two publishing associations last week reported encouraging improvements in book sales for 2007.

The American Booksellers Association February 13 reported that retail bookstore sales exceeded last year’s results for the sixth consecutive month. Quoting the Bureau of the Census, the ABA said December 2007 bookstore sales increased 2.7 percent over December 2006. The December 2007 sales are an estimated $2,113 million, compared to last year’s December sales of $2,057.

The Census Bureau also adjusted its preliminary estimates of November 2007 figures upward slightly, from $ 1,186 million to $1,187 million, bringing the increase in bookstore sales this November to 7.6 percent, the ABA said. All told, bookstore sales were up by an estimated 1.1 percent during 2007 as compared to 2006.

Census Bureau estimates reflect sales of all types of participating bookstore, including trade, college, religious, chain stores (including superstores), and others. A bookstore is defined as any retail establishment with sales comprised of more than 50 percent new books and periodicals, and estimates include sales of all products in these stores. The ABA is the national trade association for independent booksellers.

Meanwhile, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) reported a slight decrease of 1.8 %for the month of December 2007, in sales tracked by the AAP, but reported annual sales up by 7.4%.

The two entities use different tracking and reporting methods.

The AAP said adult hardcover sales fell by 19.5% in December with sales of $128.1 million. Year to date sales were up by 7.8%.

Adult Paperback sales rose 10.1 percent for the month ($116.1 million); sales were up by 0.2 percent for the year. The Adult Mass Market category rose by 46.8 percent for December with sales totaling $81.2 million; sales were down by 2.0 percent year-to-date. The Children’s/YA Hardcover category saw an increase of 16.7 percent for the month with sales of $52.6 million; sales year-to-date were also up by 46.4 percent. The Children’s/YA Paperback category was up by 10.0 percent in December with sales totaling $39.6 million; sales were up by 6.5 percent for the year.

The AAP also reported that Audio Book sales posted a decrease of 13.1 percent for December compared to last year’s figures, with sales totaling $11.9 million; sales for the whole year were up by 19.8 percent. E-books sales rose by 2.4 percent for the month ($3.0 million); the category also posted an increase of 23.6 percent for the year. Religious Books saw a decrease of 7.5 percent for the month with sales of $45.8 million; sales were up by 5.2 percent for the year.

Sales of University Press Hardcover books were up by 3.3 percent in December with sales of $6.8 million; sales were also up by 8.1 percent for the year.

The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. AAP’s more than 300 members include most of the major commercial publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies—small and large.