Total book publishing revenue rose 3.1% in 2010 to $27.9 billion and posted two-year growth of 5.6%, according to figures released Tuesday by BookStats, the joint AAP, BISG program developed to create a comprehensive analysis of industrywide sales. As expected, the gain was due almost entirely to increases in digital products which offset declines in all print formats. Among the major formats, e-book sales across all categories rose 38.9% in 2010, to $1.62 billion.
An 18-month project, BookStats draws on responses from 1,963 publishers with sales of $15.3 billion to project sales for the overall market. The publisher response is the largest ever for a publishing sales initiative and shows an industry that has performed better than many expected in rebounding from the depths of the recession while undergoing fundamental change to longstanding business models.
In the three years covered in the report, the higher education segment had the strongest performance, with sales up 23.1% between 2008 and 2010, reaching $4.55 billion. The only segment to have a decline in the 2008 period was education (k-12) with sales down 6.2%, to $5.51 billion; while sales in the segment rose 7.1% last year that was not enough to offset a steep decline of 12.4% in 2008. The trade segment posted a 5.8% sales increase in the period, to $13.94 billion, though most of the increase came in 2009 when sales rose 5.6%; last year trade sales only rose 0.2%.
Within trade, e-book sales soared 1,274.1%, to $878 million in the 2008-2010 period (203% 2010 compared to 2009), 6.4% of trade revenue. Breaking down the e-book number, BookStats shows that regular e-book (text only) sales rose 201% last year to $863.7 million and enhanced e-book sales increased 255.1%, to $14.3 million, Unit sales of e-books rose 215.5% in 2010, to 111.9 million. Sales of apps gained some traction in 2010, but generated only $629,025 in sales last year.
Among the trade categories, 2009 was a much better year than 2010 in fiction; sales in the segment fell 0.8% in 2010 after rising 10.5% in 2009. Children’s sales fell 7.1% last year following a 15.2% jump in 2009 and were at $3.1 billion in 2010. The religion segment did a complete turnaround in 2010, with sales up 12.5%, to $1.35 billion, after falling 10.6% in 2009. The nonfiction segment also showed a better 2010 than 2009 with sales last year up 2.9% following a 0.6% 2009 increase. Mass market paperback sales fell in both years, and were down 13.8% for the two-year period, to $1.28 billion.
BookStats also provides an analysis of sales changes by market channel and shows what other reports have found—retail stores losing ground to online e-tailers in the trade segment. Between 2008 and 2010, retailers’ share of the book market fell to 40.8% from 42.3% , while online sales rose to 14.3% from 8.0%. While online e-tailer’s sales rose 88.8% between 2008-2010, it was actually mass merchandisers that had the strongest gains, with sales jumping 553.2% to $218.5 million, an encouraging development for trade publishers who hope that some of the loss of business at Borders will be picked up by non-bookstore outlets.
The data also reflects more direct buying by outlets as sales to jobbers and wholesaler fell 8.9% in the two year period in the trade segment. The challenges facing the institutional market are also reflected in the numbers; sales in both the trade and total institutional market fell in 2009, but rebounded in 2010 and overall sales to libraries and government institutions were $5.97 billion in 2010, 5.7% below sales in 2008.
The complete BookStats survey is available for purchase along with a supplemental online dashboard enabling customization of the data.