Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Book Sales

Book sales in January rose 7.2% to $745 million, based on sales at 79 publishers as reported to the Association of American Publishers.

Adult hardcovers were up 4.2% ($94.4 million), adult paperbacks rose 37.6% ($135.2 million), and adult mass market increased 17.3% ($65.3 million). Children/YA hardcovers decreased 21.9% ($33.6 million), but paperbacks in the same category were up 28.2% ($34 million).

14 comments:

Jeanne said...

Huh. Is that a year over year increase? Or December to January increase? And if an increase from December, is that typical?

Jonathan Lyons said...

Per month. Here is a link:

http://www.publishers.org/main/PressCenter/January08StatsRelease.htm

December/Stacia said...

I've heard that book sales tend to go up when the economy worsens because people spend more time reading--it's cheaper than other forms of entertainment. Do you think that's true?

Jonathan Lyons said...

Not sure, but it would be an interesting study.

Janet said...

You are probably going to frustrate the doom-and-gloomers with a post like this. It doesn't support the "everyone's becoming illiterate" trope very well.

Aimless Writer said...

Probably because of the gas prices---its too expensive to go anywhere, might as well let a book take you away.
No matter what the cause, its nice.

Jeanne said...

Okay. I understand. It's year over year. They're comparing January of this year to January of last year, not January of this year to the previous month. If you look at February's press release, while sales increaed for the full year of 2007, they declined slightly in December (compared to the previous December). In Dec2007 Adult hardback sales were 128.1 mil, Adult paperback 116.1 mil, adult mass market 81.2 mil, childrens/YA hardcover 52.6 mil, children's/ya paperback 39.6. Most of these numbers were down significantly from Dec of 2006 so the uptick in year over year January sales could be people using the opportunity to take advantage of the post holiday sales to buy the things they'd denied themselves in December. It's be fascinating to see the years graphed out, each year a different color on a line graph. And, still, I have no clue how to make this data useful to me. :)

Maya Reynolds said...

so the uptick in year over year January sales could be people using the opportunity to take advantage of the post holiday sales to buy the things they'd denied themselves in December.

Or, more likely, people cashing in the gift cards they received for Christmas.

Most retailers don't book gift cards until they are used.

It will be interesting to see what the February numbers look like.

Adaora A. said...

@Aimless Writer - That's what I say. Children's/Young Adult decrease can be attributed to kids who don't read as much anymore. When you've got THE WII, XBOX 360 (I'm guily, I have one too), and PLAYSTATION..is it 3, then you've a lot to contend with. It's like the entertainment industry on a whole - including books, films, electronics, video games, etc - are in comptetition to sort of sway the young consumer to spend their job and or allowance money on THEIR stuff.

Come back to books ladies and gents.

Anonymous said...

I've always been amazed at the fact that people buy books but DON'T READ THEM. This seem weird (and unbelievable) to anyone else? It's like there's some sort of cache having the latest Grisham on your shelf, all shiny and new.

I myself use the library a lot, borrow from friends, AND buy. I'll admit that I mostly buy if I'm going to re-read. When I'm published and loaded (ha!), I'll buy even more.

But I will say my husband and I spend about $500-$800 a year on books. So it's not like we're buying none. (He ONLY buys, no library. Couple of borrows.)

December/Stacia said...

I've bought a few books and then never read them. They looked good at the time, but when I finished whatever else I was reading and picked them up I wasn't in the mood anymore, or whatever. *shrugs*

spinney said...

My non-fiction agent said that January is becoming a good sales month for Hardcover cookery, because people splurge on expensive books with giftcards. That is, they'll spring for that fancy book in January with their card that they wouldn't buy themselves at other times of the year.

spinney said...

My NF agent says that expensive hardcover books (like cookbooks) do well in January now, as people splurge with gift cards on titles they might not buy with their own cash at other times of year.

Genre Review said...

Very interesting. Funny, but I was just wondering if books sales were up or down when I saw a link to this post. Thanks for posting this information. Personally, books are my main form of entertainment, and the economy hasn't (and won't) decrease my book-buying habit.