The Association of American Publishers (AAP) estimates that book net sales totaled $24.3 billion in 2008, down from $25.0 billion in 2007 – a 2.8% decrease.
Adult and YA book sales fell 5.2 percent -- to $8.1 billion. Overall, hardcover sales fell 13% for adult books, 12.4% for childrens.
Paperback sales grew: 3.6% for adults, 6.4% for childrens. E-books, as expected, grew by a whopping 68.4% and reached $113 million in 2008. This is still dwarfed by book clubs and mail-order sales, which though shrinking by 3.4%, still accounted for sales of $600 million.
Mass Market paperback sales, despite some continue to comprise a smaller and smaller segment of the market -- just $1.1 billion total overall in 2008, representing shrinkage of 3%.
Audiobook sales fell by an even more dramatic number – 21% -- and added up to $172 million.
Education was mixed. K-12 (the little kids books) fell 4.4% to $6.1 billion, while Higher Education, which includes college textbooks, hit $3.8 billion, up 2.7% on 2007.