A Snippet of Data on U.S. Bookstore Sales

November 16th, 2009

From today’s Publishers Weekly: “Bookstore sales jumped 7.0% in September, to $1.58 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Monday morning. The increase was most likely due to gains at college stores and the release of The Lost Symbol in the middle of the month. Despite the September increase, and an upward revision in the August numbers, bookstore sales through the first nine months of the year were still down, albeit only 0.7%. Sales for the period were $12.52 billion. For the entire retail market, sales were down 6.5% for September and 9.7% for the year to date.”

As I’ve been arguing, the book business really has very little reason to get out its handkerchief. Its sales decreases are not only FAR below those of many other creative publishing industries but also of the retail economy as a whole. Hooray for some (relatively) good news.