Monday, August 17, 2009

The Death of the Publishing Industry? I Don't Think So

Since the economic crisis struck, and maybe even before it people have been predicting the death of the publishing industry especially anything written on paper. In America the June sales figures (published on the blog Shelf Awareness) tell a different story.

E-book exploded 136.2% to $14 million.
Higher education climbed 60.6% to $357.2 million.
Adult mass market jumped 30.9% to $94.2 million.
Adult paperback rose 15.7% to $132.6 million.
Adult hardcover climbed 12.6% to $132.1 million.
Children's/YA paperback was up 1.1% to $46.3 million.
Children's/YA hardcover fell 2.8% to $47.8 million.
University press paperback dropped 7.4% to $3.4 million.
Professional and scholarly fell 11.7% to $55.9 million.
Audiobook slipped 17.3% to $12.9 million.
University press hardcover slumped 20.1% to $3.3 million.
Religious books fell 22% to $41.7 million.

A closer look at these figures are actually quiet inspiring. Adult paperbacks up 15.7%, Adult hardcovers up 12.6%, Adult mass market up 30.9%.

So- begone all doomsday-ers! The Book Lives On!!
(Okay I know I didn't mention the 136.2% increase in eBooks but that really doesn't mean paper books are dead. It doesn't.)


bonita said...

Statistics notwithstanding, those of us who write YA education and non-fiction have had time to clear desks, arrange files, repaint office and so on. Books may not be dead, but they're currently on life support. The largest book-buying states are broke (CA, NY, FL, IL, MI), and much educational publishing is tailored to meet the state-specific requirements. At the moment there seems to be interest only in the tests that support 'No Child Left Behind' The only publisher that seems to be able to take on books is Scholastic (Harry Potter's house). I'm hopeful that the patient will recover soon.

Lauri said...

Bonita I hear you. Everything has gone dead quiet here too. I am a day or two from accepting the fact that I must start freelancing again. Hope things will pick up for your soon.

Helen Ginger said...

They keep telling us agents are not taking on clients, publishers are not buying and the reading market is not great. And all that may be true, but I do like reading good news - on any book front. Thanks, Lauri!

Straight From Hel

Elizabeth Bradley said...

This world-wide economic crisis is frightening. I'm shocked that more people don't discuss these issues on their blogs or Twitter. I guess we all try to keep upbeat, but I don't know a soul that isn't being impacted on some level.

daoine said...

I don't know what to think of the publishing industry anymore. It's too confusing right now.

Lauri said...

Elizabeth I know exactly what you mean. Like I've mentioned in comments elsewhere I lost a radio drama I hoped would sustain me for part of this year, thanks to the economic crisis, the government just didn't have the money to go through with the project.

Daoine-I would think with your fantastic computer skills you'd be looking at ebooks. It looks like the big money earner of the future. Since you understand it all you can do it on your own and keep all the bucks. :)You could even set up books for other writers like me.