Early estimates based on the Association of American Publishers' monthly sales report show that total industry sales rose 3.3% in 2003. The increase is based on actual sales from 73 reporting publishers, and the results could change when the AAP releases more detailed—but still preliminary—estimates later this month.

The report confirms indications from booksellers and other sources that December was an exceptionally strong month for the industry, with every segment except children's hardcover posting double-digit gains. Despite the strong December, sales in a number of segments dropped in the year. Sales in adult hardcover rose 11.9% in December, but fell 2.4% for the year, while sales of children's paperbacks jumped 29.1% in December, but fell 5.2% for 2003 overall. The mass market paperback and trade paperback segments both had better than 26% gains in December, but sales in the year were off 1.7% and 0.6%, respectively. The children's hardcover segment did post a solid increase for the year, up 28.6%, helped enormously by Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

The religious category had a big gain in the year, with sales jumping 50.2%. Sales in the higher-education segment rose 3.6% in the year, while elhi sales increased 2.5%. In elhi, basal sales rose 1.9% and supplemental sales increased 5.4%. Sales in the professional segment increased 3.6%.

In the nonbook areas, e-book sales jumped 169.5% for the year, and spoken-word audio sales increased 12.3%.

AAP Sales Report
Industry Up 3% in 2003

Category % Change December % Change YTD
Adult Hardcover 11.9% -2.4%
Adult Paperback 27.7 -0.6
Adult Mass Market 26.5 -1.7
Juvenile Hardcover 5.0 28.6
Juvenile Paperback 29.1 -5.2
Audio Books 29.0 12.3
Electronic Books 159.8 169.5
Religion 36.6 50.2
Higher Education 16.8 3.6
University Press Hardcover 17.9 11.4
University Press Paperback 15.8 7.4
Total Professional 25.8 3.6
Elhi 14.8 2.5
Total 18.3 3.3