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RECOMMENDED!






December is Not Very Merry for Book Sales

by Association of American Publishers   

 
 


Washington, DC, February 5, 2003: December turned out to be quite a dreary month for several book categories including, adult trade hardbound, juvenile paperbound, and audio books.

Juvenile paperbound sales took the hardest hit, down 51.8 percent with sales of $14.4 million. The hardbound category also struggled in December, down 7.9 percent ($47.2 million). Year-end figures show hardbound sales up a slight 2.7 percent and paperbound down .6 percent for the year. Audio book sales fell 20.9 percent with sales of $9.4 million in December. Year-end numbers show sales up a slight .3 percent over last year. Adult trade sales were mixed, with hardbound down 6.4 percent ($77.7 million) and paperbound up 19.7 percent with sales of $68.4 million. Sales for the calendar year were positive for both categories, up 12.8 percent for hardbound and up 12.9 percent for paperbound.

Sales of university press hardbound books fell 6.2 percent ($8.8 million), while paperbound sales rose slightly, up 1.9 percent ($8 million). Year-end figures show both categories are trailing behind last year, with hardbound down 8.6 percent and paperbound down 1.4 percent overall. Mass market paperback sales rose 21.5 percent with sales of $52.9 million in December. Year-end numbers show sales are up 18.6 percent over last year at this time. Professional and scholarly titles also finished out the year with a bang. Sales were up 22.2 percent ($138.7 million), with year-end number showing an increase of 8.9 percent overall.

College texts and materials were up 8.3 percent for the month, with sales of $606.8 million. This category is up 12.9 percent for the year. Elhi (elementary/high school) texts and materials were up 23.4 percent ($107.4 million), however, year-end sales show sales are down 5 percent for the year overall.


The Association of American Publishers is the principal trade association for the U.S. book publishing industry with some 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.