Total industry sales slipped marginally last year, falling 0.3%, to $24.20 billion, according to preliminary estimates released last week by the Association of American Publishers. Sales declined in seven categories and rose in seven others. The largest increase, except e-books, was in the trade paperback category, which had an 8.5% gain. Overall, trade sales rose 2.9%, to $8.27 billion, despite small declines in both children's segments. Estimates in the children's categories do not include Harry Potter, which AAP excluded to give a better sense of the general trends in that market. (In the fiscal year ended May 2006, Scholastic reported Potter sales of $195 million, up from $20 million in fiscal 2005).
Estimates for the 2002 to 2005 period have been revised after the AAP updated the way it breaks down the 2002 Census Bureau sales, the most recent year in which the bureau compiled book sales information. The most significant change involved lowering estimates in the book club/mail order segment (in 2005, AAP had estimated sales in the segment of $1.5 billion, revised to $659 million) and raising estimates in the trade segment (from an original 2005 estimate of $7.8 billion in 2005 to $8.0 billion). The AAP continues to use its monthly sales program, to which 81 publishers report, as the primary source for measuring annual sales changes. In 2006, religion sales were compiled with the help of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, and the International Digital Publishing Forum contributed to the e-book sales figure.
Preliminary Estimated Book Sales
2005—2006 ($ in millions)
| Source: Association of American Publishers |
|Book Clubs/Mail Order||659.3||639.5||-3.0|
|Mass Market Paperback||1,091.8||1,142.0||4.6|