The Book Market: Not an Industry in Decline
According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP), book sales in 2007 grew in every segment except mass-market paperbacks. AAP also reported that e-book sales increased 23.6 percent in 2007 (with $67 million in sales) and have seen a compound growth rate of 55.7 percent since 2002. And audiobook sales increased nearly 20 percent in 2007 to $218 million.
Whenever someone asks me if the industry is being impacted by the Internet and if e-book sales are going to hurt print sales, I think of Merriam-Webster President John Morse, saying that while the company’s Web site and other digital products are growing, it is also selling more print dictionaries than ever. Now, I have plenty of other examples to cite, including the fact that the majority (and an increasing number over 2006) of the top book manufacturers in North America are reporting growth, and digital book printers are investing in new equipment in anticipation of further growth. These are not signs of an industry in decline.