Early estimates from the Association of American Publishers show no gain in industry sales in 2004. Based on figures from the 76 publishers who participate in AAP's monthly sales report, sales held even in the last year, following a 4.6% gain in 2003. AAP will release adjusted sales figures later this month.

Among the trends reflected in the AAP figures is an improvement in the adult hardcover segment, following a down year in 2003. A year-long slump in the mass market paperback segment was punctuated by an exceptionally poor December, with sales down nearly 9% for the year.

The absence of a new Harry Potter book hurt sales in the children's hardcover segment, and preliminary estimates show a 16.7% sales decline in 2004. The religious segment, which had big gains in 2003, had a more modest 5.6% sales increase in 2004, according to the estimates. The elhi segment performed better than expected last year, with early figures showing flat sales; sales had been expected to fall by 4% to 5% in 2004. Supplemental sales jumped 11.1% in 2004, offsetting a 2.1% decline in basal sales.

AAP Sales Report:
No Gain in '04

Category % Change December % Change YTD
(Measured in $ sales against same time periods, 2003)
Adult Hardcover -4.9 6.3
Adult Paperback 9.4 2.8
Adult Mass Market -30.6 -8.9
Juvenile Hardcover 90.5 -16.7
Juvenile Paperback 12.0 3.8
Audio Books -19.3 -0.7
Electronic Books 47.7 53.0
Religious Books 0.5 5.6
Higher Education -0.6 1.8
Univ. Pr. Hardcover -12.2 -7.8
Univ. Pr. Paperback -26.1 -11.4
Professional 2.3 2.0
Elhi -6.2 0.1
Total -1.1 0.1