Total industry sales rose 3.2% in 2007, to just under $25 billion, according to preliminary estimates released last week by the Association of American Publishers. The increase follows a year in which sales slipped 0.3%. The largest gain among the print segments was in adult hardcover, up 7.8%. Sales declined in the children's hardcover, book club/mail order and mass market paperback categories. Sales in the children's hardcover—and paperback—segments exclude sales from the Harry Potter series, which Scholastic reported generated revenue of $250 million in the June—November period, mainly due to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. If those sales are added to the juvenile hardcover segment, sales in that category would increase almost 12% last year.
AAP excludes Potter because of the way it measures industry sales. The organization takes actual sales from 81 reporting companies (including Potter publisher Scholastic) and then uses Census Bureau data to extrapolate sales for the entire industry. In the past, the inclusion of Potter has distorted growth (and, in non-Potter years, the decline) of the children's category.
The largest overall gains in the year came in the smallest segments; e-book sales jumped 23.6%, to a still very modest $67.2 million, while audiobook sales, helped by digital downloads, rose 19.8%. There were few surprises in the industry numbers, with the 3.2% increase slightly higher than the 2.5% compound growth rate posted between 2002 and 2007.
|Segments||2006||2007||Compound Growth Rate|
|$||$||% Change from 2006||2002 to 2007|
|Book Clubs & Mail Order||639,511||621,605||-2.8%||-6.1%|
|Mass Market Paperback||1,141,980||1,119,140||-2.0%||-1.7%|