Friday, May 24, 2013

Book Sales Are Actually Up

The book industry has done the worst job of highlighting its best news.  Did you know that print book sales are up?  Or that e-book sales jumped 42.8%? I didn’t think so.

The book publishing industry saw sales fall less than 1% in 2012 – to 27.12 billion dollars – but that’s taking into account everything – textbook sales, libraries, bookstores, online channels, etc. 
But of the portion of the book market that is considered the consumer trade market, sales overall are up – by 6.9%!

Yes, up! Trade sales moved from 14 billion bucks in 2011 to 15 billion in 2012.  The growth is uneven – hard covers rose a little, paperback also rose,  but less so and mass market paperbacks declined.  Downloadable audio books shot up by over 20%.

According to a report released by BookStats, in conjunction with the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group, the bad news is in how book sales are made.  Online retailers saw revenue rise 21.3% while brick and mortar outlets (bookstores and other stores that sell books) showed a 7% decline.

So what does this all mean? That doom and gloom scenarios for book publishing are wrong.  Yes, there are issues that need to be addressed – e-book pricing, growing the library and bookstore segments, and promoting the value of books – but it’s clear that books, in whatever format, wherever they are sold, are being bought and sales are rising.

Yes, rising.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2013

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