Total book sales are projected to rise 2.7%, to $27.06 billion, in 2003, according to projections from the Book Industry Study Group. The gain will be driven by price increases that will offset a 0.5% dip in unit sales in the year.

The college segment will have the strongest growth in the year, with BISG forecasting a 9% sales increase in 2003, to $4.25 billion. The elhi segment, which was expected to post strong gains in 2003 because of a robust adoption schedule, is now projected to have only a 1% sales gain. State budget pressure, which has delayed some textbook purchases, was cited by BISG as the primary factor in limiting textbook sales in the year.

In the trade segment, BISG is projecting a 2.4% increase in sales, to $7.1 billion. The gain will be led by the children's hardcover category, which will get a huge boost from the release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Following an 11.7% sales increase in 2002, sales in the mass market paperback segment are projected to inch ahead 0.1% in 2003, to $1.73 billion. New strategies that include using the Internet to increase membership will help increase book club sales by 3.7% in 2003, to $1.52 billion. The only segment that is expected to have a decline in sales in 2003 is mail order, where sales are projected to drop 18.8% in 2003. Longer term, BISG projects that sales in the segment will continue declining through 2007.

Sales in the religious book segment are expected to increase 3% in 2003, to $1.3 billion. The professional book segment, which had an 8.6% sales gain in 2002, is projected to have a more modest 1.6% increase in 2003, to $5.2 billion. After a flat 2002, sales in the university press segment are expected to increase 3.1%, to $458.3 million.

The forecast for 2003 is part of BISG's annual Trends study to be released later this month.

Projected Industry Sales for 2003
($ in millions)

Segments 2002 2003 % Change
Source: Book Industry Study Group
Trade $6,929.8 $7,098.1 2.4%
Mass Market Paperback 1,726.8 1,728.4 0.1
Book Clubs 1,463.3 1,517.0 3.7
Mail Order 333.5 270.8 -18.8
Religious 1,262.2 1,300.6 3.0
Professional 5,140.1 5,224.0 1.6
University Press 444.0 458.3 3.1
Elhi 4,073.3 4,114.0 1.0
College 3,898.2 4,247.9 9.0
Standardized Tests 268.2 275.5 2.6
Subscription Reference 797.0 822.1 3.1
All Books 26,336.4 27,056.7 2.7