Wednesday, July 18, 2012

U.S. book sales estimates from the 2011 BookStats report

Publishers Lunch reports that the AAP and BISG have released "headline" figures from their 2011 BookStats statistical survey of U.S. book sales, ahead of the release of the complete report next week. Here's a summary:
  • The total US book publishing business accounted for $27.2 billion in sales in 2011, down 2.6% from $27.94 billion in 2010, although unit sales increased by 3.4%. 
  • Trade sales of $12.52 billion for 2011 were down from $12.59 billion in 2010. (Publishers Lunch subtracts religious sales from trade to make the numbers consistent with the AAP's reporting practice.) 
  • eBooks became the largest-selling format for adult fiction, comprising 31% of dollar sales and increasing from $585 million in 2010 to $1.27 billion in 2011. Trade eBook sales increased from $838 million in 2010 to $1.97 billion in 2011. eBooks accounted for almost 16% of all trade sales in dollars, and eBook unit sales increased 210% to 377 million units in 2011. 
  • Children's and Young Adult books were the "fastest-growing category" in 2011, with sales of $2.78 billion, up 12% from $2.48 billion in 2010. 
  • Brick & mortar sales declined 12.6%, due in part to Borders' bankruptcy and closure. Publishers' direct sales to bookstores (not through distributors) were $8.59 billion. Direct sales to online retainers grew 35% to $5.04 billion. Direct publisher sales to consumers were up 58% to $1.11 billion. 
  • All numbers in the report are estimates, since actual source data accounts for only 61.4% of the total. Publishers Deluxe's Michael Cader details his concerns about the accuracy of both the BookStats figures, which are estimates, and the AAP's new StatShots reports, which are based on actual numbers from 1,149 publishers and distributors--but not Ingram, National Book Network, and others. 

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