Adult trade publishers with a “change is good” attitude are finding success in today’s market. From promoting literacy to experimenting with new marketing initiatives, such as social networking sites and author videos, and new distribution formats, such as e-books and digital downloads, industry leaders are now acting upon, not resisting, the significant turn the publishing world has been taking. Data indicates that while monthly sales fluctuate, overall, sales are still up, and many publishers are proactively striving to keep them that way.
Last month, The Association of American Publishers (AAP) reported that adult hardbound book sales totaled $2.8 billion in 2007, a 7.8-percent increase over the previous year. Adult paperbacks sales totaled $2.3 billion last year, a 0.2-percent increase over 2006. )
“The gains in the adult trade segment… have been incremental over the years, and … the compound growth rate over the past few years has been steady,” says Tina Jordan, AAP vice president.
What does this mean for publishing executives? “The health of the trade market indicates that there is an ongoing enthusiasm for reading as a leisure activity, not to mention that the selection of titles consumers have to pick from is endless,” Jordan says. “The formats available to them—audio (via CD or digital download) and e-books—give consumers a selection of how they want to read.”
Focus on Readership
Today’s readers are multitaskers: They digest more information in less time, and for this reason and many others, the Internet has become a powerful tool. It also, in some cases, rivals books as a potential source for information. With the emergence of Web 2.0 applications, consumers have easy access to a wealth of information online, from forums and blogs to online databases and usergenerated content Web sites such as Wikipedia.
An August 2007 Associated Press- Ipsos poll showed that three-fourths of adults read at least one book in the past year. But what about the 25 percent who didn’t?