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Net Book Sales in February Up Despite Depressed Economy

I haven’t done a good job of posting these figures recently, but net book sales for the year are up 6.2% in 2008 and 4.8% in February alone. Given that we are either in a recession or on the cusp, I would think any amount of increase is positive. Adult paperback is seeing the largest increase at 30.8% v. adult mass market increasing only 0.4% and adult hardcovers falling 26.4%.   Other figures included:

  • Adult paperback climbed 30.8% to $128.8 million.
  • Children’s/YA hardcover rose 8.1% to $40.7 million.
  • Children’s/YA paperback rose 7.2% to $37.2 million.
  • E-books were up 6.7% to $2.6 million.
  • Adult mass market rose 0.4% to $59.5 million.
  • Adult hardcovers fell 26.4% to $83.5 million.

AAP via ShelfAwareness.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Sherry Thomas
    Apr 28, 2008 @ 08:59:51

    My new contract contains a bonus clause in case either book is published in hardcover. But I’d just as soon forgo that bonus and not publish in hardcover. I think $7 for a book is plenty to pay (I don’t know why I’m so shallow. I don’t blink at paying $15 for lunch but I balk at trade paperback prices).

    Anyway, I sometimes think mass market paperbacks books would actually do better when people have to cut down on more expensive forms of entertainment. A paperback is cheaper than a movie and lasts longer. I also think the sales of e-books would go on improving, as gas price keep going up and people cut down on their driving.

  2. Sherry Thomas
    Apr 28, 2008 @ 11:48:33

    Hmm, looks like I didn’t read properly. So adult paperback went up 30% but adult mass market rose only 0.4%. Does that mean all the rise came from trade paperback? Or does adult paperback mean trade paperback?

  3. Robin
    Apr 28, 2008 @ 12:08:59

    (I don't know why I'm so shallow. I don't blink at paying $15 for lunch but I balk at trade paperback prices).

    Maybe because you buy more paperbacks than lunches?

    These increases makes some sense to me, because I think reading is a relatively inexpensive form of entertainment as compared to movies, for example, and doesn’t everyone want a break from the economy by diving into a great book? At least until we’re foregoing books for rice.

  4. Jane
    Apr 28, 2008 @ 13:12:44

    I think adult paperback means “trade paperbacks”.

  5. Rose Marie Wolf
    Apr 28, 2008 @ 23:22:42

    I notice that hardcover books dropped, and I can understand why. I can’t afford much for books, and I figure it’s the same with many other people. With hardcovers at 20+ a pop…

  6. Sherry Thomas
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 08:56:36

    Maybe because you buy more paperbacks than lunches?

    LOL. For me it’s just that eating is a more primal need. If I don’t eat, I suffer. If I don’t read a particular book, I don’t suffer quite as much.

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