In a preliminary presentation for figures that will appear in July, representatives from the AAP, BISG, and Bowker explained the new process for how industry sales are being compiled and analyzed, at a Tuesday afternoon panel. The good news is that more than 1,100 publishers have supplied date to the joint AAP/BISG BookStats project, more than double the participation level of any other statistics endeavor. And in more good news, preliminary findings from the actual numbers show that sales, both in units and dollars, were up in the trade segment between 2008 and 2010. AAP and BISG will present estimated overall sales figure for various parts of the industry in July after they have a chance to draw on more information and analysis from other industry sources.

Based on the actual figures supplied by the 1,100 publishers, most of whom are in the trade segment, the strongest sales gains in the three-year period came from small and medium-size publishers. Sales at the largest publishers showed slight gains. Adult fiction sales had modest sales gains, while the children’s/young adult market had substantial gains in the period. Bowker’s Kelly Gallagher noted that sales of adult nonfiction “are struggling a bit.” BISG chair and Sourcebooks president Dominique Raccah noted that in each of the industry tiers—small, medium, and large—at least 50% of the reporting companies posted year over year gains.

Breakdowns by channel and format showed few surprises. Hardcover and paperback sales were down while e-book sales had exponential growth, Gallagher noted. Retail chain sales declined, and Gallagher said independent booksellers held their own in a difficult market, showing only a very small decline.

Gallagher explained that AAP/BISG had traded accuracy for speed in developing final numbers for the industry. Raccah emphasized that BookStats will enable publishers to analyze data in numerous ways, including allowing publishers to match their growth against publishers of a similar size.

More information on BookStats is available at both the BISG and AAP Web sites