The report uses data from the Bureau of the Census and sales data from 81 publishers (including all major book publishers) and estimated that U.S. publishers had net sales of $24.3 billion in 2008, down from $25.0 billion in 2007. A 2.8% decrease. In the last six years the industry had a compound annual growth rate of 1.6%.
- Trade sales of adult and juvenile books fell 5.2 percent from 2007 to $8.1 billion. Paperbound books for children and adults had growth rates of 6.4% and 3.6% respectively. Hardcover fell 12.4% in children’s and 13% in adult.
- Educational titles had a mixed year. Sales for K-12 books fell 4.4% to $6.1 billion in 2008. Higher Education, which includes college textbooks, fared better with sales of $3.8 billion this year, up 2.7% on 2007.
- Mass Market paperbacks decreased 3.0%. Book clubs and mail-order fell for the 6th year to $600 million, a fall of 3.4%.
- Audio book sales for 2008 totaled $172 million, down 21% on the prior year.
- E-books continue to grow significantly, sales reached $113 million in 2008, up 68.4%.
The writing on the wall here?
Short term = Continue to offer ALL types of books, managing your mix.
Long term = Get into digital!
--The Retail Muse