Monday, April 19, 2010

Falling Sales for the Printed Word

Overall book sales in the United States dropped 1.8 percent in 2009, to approximately $23.9 billion not adjusted for inflation, according to the annual estimate released by the Association of American Publishers this month, though there is some hope for the beleaguered industry.

E-books accounted for just 1.3 percent of all book sales. But their sales skyrocketed 176.6 percent over the previous year. The introduction of the Nook from Barnes & Noble and the iPad from Apple are expected to bolster sales further in 2010.

Educational books for kindergartners through 12th graders took the steepest hit among several categories, declining 13.9 percent, yet books for higher education rose by nearly the same percentage. “K-12 school textbook spending, unlike higher education, is driven predominantly by government procurement funding by local municipality and state budgets, many of which were either cut or deferred across the country in 2009,” said Tina Jordan, vice president of the association.

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