US. Book Sales Hit $25.1B

In a mild turnaround after recording a 4.1% decline in overall book publishing sales in 2004, total book sales for 2005 rose 9.9% to a total of $25.1 billion, according to the Association of American Publishers. In 2004 total U.S. trade sales were 22.8 billion. Trade book sales in 2005 rose to $7.83 billion, a 24.9% increase over 2004 sales of $6.26 billion in 2004. Children's hardcovers reported the biggest increase, to $3.61 billion, a whopping 59.6% jump over the $2.26 billion in juvenile hardcover sales in 2004—an increase that owes much to the sale of 13.5 million copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Wiley Third-Quarter Up

Driven by gains in its STM and professional/trade businesses, John Wiley & Sons reported an increase in third-quarter revenue, to $278 million, an 8% increase over the same period in the previous fiscal year. Operating income increased 7% over the previous year's third quarter, while Wiley's revenues for the first nine months of fiscal 2006 grew 6%, to $778 million. The professional and trade division reported a 10% rise in revenues, to $101 million, while third quarter STM revenues were up 15%, to $50 million.

Emmis to Close

Emmis Books, the recently launched regional publishing wing of Cincinnati-based Emmis Communications, is closing. The book division, which has been in operation for three years, will close its doors on March 21, with continued distribution of 150 of its titles through PGW. Though Emmis did not publicly disclose the reasons for the closing, many speculate that the decision is connected to the company CEO's interest in purchasing the Washington Nationals baseball club.

Greenspan Goes to Penguin

After a bidding war at the London Book Fair, Alan Greenspan's as-yet-untitled book went to Penguin Press, for $8.5 million, the second-highest advance ever paid for nonfiction. The book will bow in 2007 and be edited by Penguin Press editor-in-chief Scott Moyers. The book was described as Greenspan's take on the "second half of the 20th century and first years of the 21st."


Target Market News, a consumer research firm specializing in the African-American market, has acquired Black Issues Book Review, a six-year old publication focused on African-American readers. TNN president Ken Smikle said BIBR's focus on the trade and consumers made it a good fit. It is uncertain how the deal will affect the alliance between BIBR and another black reading publication, QBR: The Black Book Review.

Google Pay Plan

Google has introduced a new tool that will allow publishers to expand the amount of content available for viewing by consumers of books that are part of Google Book Search. Publishers also set the price for the greater access and determine how much of the book can be seen. Jim Gerber said the program will let publishers experiment with different business models.