I'm working on a post on book rights, but it's going to take more time than I have today. Look for it over the weekend.
Today, I'm quoting from the Thursday edition of Shelf Awareness:
Net book sales in 2006 fell 0.2% to $10,027.9 billion from $10,044.2 billion, as reported by 82 publishers to the Association of American Publishers. Net sales for December dropped 0.6% to $1,396.4 million.
The big gainers for the year were: e-books (with admittedly small numbers compared to other categories), up 24.1%; adult paperbacks, up 8.5%; university press paperbacks, up 4.7%; and adult mass markets, up 4.6%.
The big losers were: children's/YA hardcovers (read the lack of Harry Potter), down 29%; audiobooks, down 11.7%; and religious books, down 10.2%.
The uptick for e-books didn't surprise me. That's been a trend for several years. The double digit increase is likely to slow down as the overall total grows.
I'll admit I WAS surprised by the figures for audiobooks and religious books.
I'm wondering if the audiobook number reflects a change as more people are downloading audiofeed to their computers. Without knowing if the audiobooks figure includes downloadable audio, it's hard to tell. I reported in my post of January 5th that "downloads have grown sharply, rising to 9 percent of audio book sales in 2005." I'll try to find out more.
I have no clue as to why religious books are down. I thought that market was strong.