Assn. of American Publishers' report finds trade book net sales in January-April period down 2.3% year-over-year to US$1.7B, as adult hardcover, adult paperback, e-books show highest revenue in April

WASHINGTON , June 23, 2011 (press release) – For the second month in a row, Adult Hardcover and Adult Paperbacks rank #1 and #2 in revenue in Trade books (general consumer fiction and non-fiction) according to the monthly net sales report of the Association of American Publishers, the industry’s national trade association, being released today.

E-Books and Downloaded Audiobooks, the two digital formats, continued to show revenue growth as well vs April 2010, with the former again ranking #3 among all Trade categories. Religious Books, in all print and digital formats, also experienced another month of revenue increases vs the previous year, continuing as #4.

Net sales for calendar year to date 2011 for the Trade market, which also encompasses Children’s/Young Adult Hardcover, Children’s/Young Adult Paperback and Audiobooks, was $1.7 billion, a decline of just 2.35% since YTD 2010.

According to publishers, this month’s figures remain consistent with seasonal buying patterns for the first quarter of 2011.

The report includes data from 92 publishers in all categories of commercial, education, professional and scholarly books and journals.

Among other highlights in the April report, overall net sales YTD in all reported publishing categories reached $2.3 billion, a decrease of 4.4% (from $2.4 billion) from the same period last year. Children’s/Young Adult Hardcover and University Press Paperbacks both increased in net sales revenue, 1.5% and 10.8% respectively, since the same time last year.

K-12 net sales revenue dropped 16.9% from last April, which is traditionally the starting month of the classroom curriculum buying period. According to publishers, this initial decline is due to decreasing federal stimulus funds for K-12 public education and a weak state textbook adoption market (the 20 states where committees decide which materials can be used in public schools).

A breakdown of key cited April 2011 figures is below.

Trade net revenue and rankings for April 2011:

Adult Hardcover - $111.4 million

Adult Paperback - $95.9M

E-Books - $72.8M

Religious Books (all formats) - $48.5M

Children’s/Young Adult Hardcover - $41.2M

Children’s/Young Adult Paperback - $36.8M

Adult Mass Market Paperback - $28.5M

Net sales for all Trade categories, year to date 2011 vs ytd 2010:

Jan-April 2011 - $1671.9M

Jan-April 2010 - $1712.4M

Percent change: -2.4%

Digital format growth:

E-Books

April 2011 - $72.8M

April 2010 - $28.3M

Percent change: +157.5%

Downloaded Audiobooks

April 2011 - $7.0M

April 2010 - $5.8M

Percent change: +22.3%

Total Professional books:

April 2011 - $50.5M

April 2010 - $54.3M

Percent change: -7.0%

University Press Paperbacks:

April 2011 - $2.5M

April 2010 - $2.3M

Percent change: +10.8%

K-12:

April 2011 - $141.6M

April 2010 - $170.5M

Percent change: -16.9%

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