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December Sees Steady Rise in Book Sales

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February 2-9, 2006 Edition

December Sees

Steady Rise

in Book Sales

NEW YORK, NY/01/31/06—Publishing sales continued to rise in December for most of the categories tracked by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Children’s/YA Paperback saw large gains while Adult Mass Markets sales took a dip for the month. Net sales were up 7.0 percent for the month, with sales for the year up 6.5 percent.

Sales for the adult hardcover category was up a solid 20.1 percent for December with sales of $117.4 million. This category has seen an increase of 1.4 percent in 2005. Adult paperback sales were also up this month by 20.9 percent (sales totaled $115.9 million). Sales for this category have grown 9.5 percent over last year’s sales. The adult mass-market category dropped by 15.6 percent with sales totaling $49.7 million for this category; a slight increase of 0.2 percent for the year.

The children’s and young adult hardcover category saw a decline of 13.2 percent in December (sales totaled $43.0 million). This category has continued to do very well in 2005 with sales 59.6 percent greater than last year’s. The children’s and young adult paperback publishing sales saw an increase of 34.7 percent with sales totaling $39.3 million. This category is up by 10.6 percent for the year.

Audio book sales rose 44.7 percent in December with sales totaling $14.7 million; year to date sales are 29.0 percent greater than last year’s. E-books sales saw an increase of 28.4 percent in December with total sales of $1.3 million. This category is up 44.8 percent for the year. Religious books posted a decrease of 3.8 percent ($21.9 million); sales were down by 6.1 percent for 2005.

Sales of university press hardcover books saw a 38.4 percent loss in December (sales totaled $9.4 million). This category has lost 32.2 percent year-to-date in 2005. Sales in the university press paperback category saw a small increase of 3.3 percent with sales totaling $32.3 million; this category has lost 5.5 for the year. Sales in the professional and scholarly category saw a gain of 11.6 percent for the month, with sales of $114.7 million. Sales in this category are down slightly by 1.0 percent for the year. Sales of ‘other’ types of books dipped 36.8 percent in December (totaling $2.3 million); this category is down by 4.9 percent for 2005.

Higher education publishing sales saw a 6.0 percent gain in December with sales totaling $784.5 million. This category is up by 5.3 percent for the year. Finally, the net el-hi (elementary/high school) basal and supplemental K-12 category gained 2.2 percent in December, with sales of $149.2 million, allowing for a 10.5 percent year- to- date growth figure.

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.