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Book Sales Decline in May, Remain Flat for Year

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MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
July 17 – July 24, 2008 Edition

Book Sales
Decline in May,
Remain Flat for Year

NEW YORK, NY/7/11/08–Net domestic book sales tracked by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) for the month of May decreased by 1.8 percent at $670 million and were down by 0.7 percent for the year.

The Adult Hardcover category was up by 4.4 percent in May with sales of $166 million; year-to-date sales decreased by 9.7 percent. Adult Paperback sales declined 7.3 percent for the month, posting $100.7 million in sales; however, sales were up by 12.7 percent for the year. The Adult Mass Market category was also down by 9.6 percent for May with sales totaling $77.2 million; sales decreased by 1.2 percent year-to-date. The Children’s/YA Hardcover category saw a decrease of 4.9 percent for the month with sales of $40.4 million; additionally, sales for year-to-date dropped by 10.6 percent. The Children’s/YA Paperback category saw a slight increase of 0.4 percent with sales totaling $42.5 million; annual sales were also up by 3.9 percent.

Audio Book sales dropped 38.0 percent in May after April’s 1.7 percent gain, with sales totaling $12.6 million; sales for the whole year were down by 19.7 percent. E-books sales continued to rise in May, seeing a 24.3 percent increase for the month ($3.3 million); the category posted an increase of 34.1 percent for the year. Religious Books saw an increase of 3.7 percent for the month with sales of $38.8 million; sales were down by 11.4 percent for the year.

Sales of University Press Hardcover books dropped 18.4 percent in May with sales of $4.0 million; sales were down by 2.4 percent for the year. University Press Paperback sales posted a decrease of 20.5 percent for the month with sales totaling $2.8 million; sales were also down 6.8 percent for the year. Sales in the Professional and Scholarly category rose 1.3 percent in May ($53.5 million), and sales were up by 1.7 percent for the year.

Higher Education publishing sales increased by 5.0 percent for the month ($127.1 million), reflecting a 7.2 percent increase for the year. Finally, the net El-Hi (elementary/high school) basal and supplemental K-12 category posted a decrease of 2.6 percent in May with sales of $328.6 million; the category was up by 1.5 percent for the year.

The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. AAP’smore 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 societies­small and large. AAP members publish hardcover and paperback books in every field, educational materials for the elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and professional markets, scholarly journals, computer software, and electronic products and services. The protection of intellectual property rights in all media, the defense of the freedom to read and the freedom to publish at home and abroad, and the promotion of reading and literacy are among the Association’s highest priorities.