Publishing Sales Up 3.4 percent in August

October 15, 2004
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October 15-31, 2004 Edition

Publishing Sales

Up 3.4 percent

in August

NEW YORK, NY/10/06/2004—Publishing sales were up for the year in all but three categories tracked by the Association of American Publishers (AAP), after August publishing sales were recorded; sales for the month of August were higher in all but four categories. Slight losses in basal and supplemental K-12 net sales could not cloud end of summer gains in the trade categories.

Sales of adult hardcover books grew dramatically by 13.4 percent in August, with sales of $92.6 million (up 17.1 percent for the year). Adult paperback sales lost a miniscule 0.2 percent in August (with sales of $98.2 million), with the year to date figure up 2.0 percent. The adult mass market category gained 6.8 percent in August, with sales of $66.3 million for this category (down an ever-narrowing 6.3 percent in 2004).

The children’s and young adult hardcover category posted a loss of 12.8 percent in August ($55.8 million); the category has fallen below the 2003 year to date figure by 34.9 percent. The children’s and young adult paperback publishing sales saw a gain in August of 33.0 percent with sales totaling $47.7 million. This category continues to gain and is now up 7.6 percent for the year.

Audio book sales witnessed a 10.8 percent growth spurt in August ($10.8 million), however, sales are still sluggish for the year, that category is down 2.3 percent for 2004. E-books sales stumbled slightly in August, dropping 6.1 percent ($600,000); this rapidly expanding category is up 62.0 percent for the year. Religious books made impressive gains in August; sales were up 42.9 percent (totaling $40.0 million). That category maintains a 25.4 percent year to date growth figure.

Sales for university press hardcover books witnessed a significant gain of 27.2 percent ($13.0 million) in August. That category has gained over the summer and is now up 11.7 percent for the year. Sales in the university press paperback category gained 21.2 percent for August (sales totaled $27.4 million); this category is up 8.9 percent for the year. Sales in the professional and scholarly category lost 10.1 percent in August, with sales of $77.5 million; sales in that category are equal to year to date sales figures from 2003. Sales of ‘other’ types of books also lost in August; that category was down 6.8 percent for the month, however, it maintains a 31.4 percent lead over last year’s figures. Sales in August totaled 3.8 million.

Higher education publishing sales grew 1.3 percent in August ($648.5 million); this category is up 2.5 percent for the year. Finally, the net El-hi (elementary/high school) basal and supplemental K-12 category declined 2.4 percent in August, with sales of $723.9 million, allowing for a slight slip in the year to date number, which is now down 2.8 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.

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