Two New Studies Show U.S. Book Production, Sales Rise—a Smidge

by Staff

Last year's book sales rose slightly over 2005, the New York Times reports today. According to a study by the Book Industry Study Group, publishers sold 3.1 billion books in 2006, up just 0.5 percent from 2005, when 3.09 billion were published. Sales of adult trade paperbacks increased by 3.5 percent (to 418.2 million sold) while adult hardcovers fell 0.1 percent (to 406 million copies sold). Overall, net revenue increased by 3.2 percent, from $34.6 billion in 2005 to $35.7 billion in 2006.

Meanwhile, R.R. Bowker, the publisher of the Books in Print database and the official agency for assigning ISBNs in the United States, released statistics on the number of individual titles published in the United States in 2006. According to Bowker's study, 291,920 new titles were published last year, which is a sharp increase over 2005—but not as sharp as one might think.

Bowker implemented a new methodology this year to more accurately track the figures. Last year, Bowker reported that only 172,000 individual titles were published, a decrease from 2004 of 18,000 titles, or nearly 10 percent. Based on the new methodology, however, the 2005 number would be 282,500. Therefore, the 2006 figures represent only a 3 percent increase over 2005.

Reports of the studies come on the second day of Book Expo America, the book industry's annual convention, held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.