There are many reasons for this.
- Books are sold in many different venues
- AAP data is released monthly but reports data from a VERY small subset of publishers as a whole.
- There are thousands (maybe even tens of thousands of small and micro presses whose data is not reported at all
- Top selling self-publishers are not having their data reported at all (the New John Locke, rick Murcer has sold more than 130,000 books but they are not recorded anywhere.
- When do you count a sale? When the bookstore orders the books? Or when the buyer purchases them? How do you account for returns?
One of the reasons I went to BookExpo is to get a better grip on the data of the book industry as a whole. I attended a number of presentations that did help, but the one I was looking forward to the most was BookStats.
This is a 2 year analysis of publishing from 2008 - 2010 performed by BISG (Book Industry Study Group) and AAP (American Association of Publishers). The data was not ready for BookExpo in May, and they expected it to be ready in July. Well July came and went but it looks like the report is finally out as I'm seeing articles written about it.
I plan on getting my hands on the complete report - will cost me nearly $600 to do so but I think it will be worth it. Once I have the report, I'll give some further analysis but here are some fact that have been put out by the New York Times based on their reading of the data.
- 2008 seems to have been the bottom as there has been expansion in each of the three previous years
- 2010 Net Revenue for publishers was $27.9 billion
- 2010 Net Revenue increased 5.8% over 2008
- Trade books grew 5.8% to 13.9 billion (fueled by eBooks)
- Juvenile books grew 6.6% over three years
- Adult fiction grew 8.8% over three years
- eBooks were .6% in 2008 and 6.4% in 2010 (a number which I still think is grossly under reported)
- 2010 eBook sales 114 million copies
- Adult hardcover and paperback were essentially flat from 2008 - 2010
- Mass market paperbacks declined 16%
- Hardcover books as % of trade books held pretty stable (37.7% in 2010 39.6% in 2008)
- Trade paperbacks saw similar trends (37.8% in 2010, 39.5% in 2008)