Projections released by the Book Industry Study Group at BookExpo America forecast a 3.6% increase in total book sales in 2006, to $38.26 billion. The biggest gains are expected to come in the juvenile paperback segment, where a 10.1% increase is projected, and in the religious book segment, where sales are forecast to increase 6.5%.

For the first time, the BISG numbers include results from a survey of small presses with sales under $50 million. Conducted by InfoTrends, the study identified 116,000 presses with sales under $50 million, 87,000 of which generated revenue in 2005. Based on these findings, InfoTrends estimated that small publishers added another $11 billion to the industry in 2005, with the largest change occurring in the trade category, where sales were revised upward by about $4.2 billion. Sales of professional books were hiked up by $3.9 billion, while sales in the college category were increased by $928 million. Another $729 million in revenue was added in the religious segment.

The revisions put the BISG estimates further at odds with industry estimates produced by the Association of American Publishers. Because of the different methodolies used by the two organizations to measure the industry, the AAP estimated that total sales in 2005 were $25.08 billion, compared to the $36.94 billion estimated by BISG. The AAP estimated that sales rose 9.9% last year, while the BISG estimate placed the increase at 6.1%. The two organizations have had preliminary discussions about resolving the differences in their sales estimates.

Projected Book Sales, 2005—2006
(in millions)

Category 2005 2006 % Change
Source: Book Industry Study Group
Trade $14,010.0 $14,496.9 3.5%
Adult Hard 5,364.0 5,530.2 2.6
Adult Paper 3,474.4 3,565.0 2.6
Juvenile Hard 1,637.9 1,675.4 2.3
Juvenile Paper 1,698.0 1,868.7 10.1
Mass Market Paper 1,835.9 1,884.6 2.7
Religious 2,293.6 2,443.5 6.5
Professional 8,618.9 8,906.4 3.3
University Press 465.8 474.8 1.9
Elhi 4,700.5 4,866.2 3.5
College 4,504.7 4,584.2 1.8
Standardized Tests 2,349.9 2,490.5 6.0
Total 36,943.3 38,262.6 3.6