Christian Retailing

Religious book sales decline again Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Thursday, 19 November 2009 03:42 PM America/New_York

Sales of religious books sharply decreased, by 18.4%, in September, following a yearlong trend as overall book sales increased by 12.3% to $1.26 billion and were up by 3.6% for the year, according to the Association of American Publishers (AAP).

The month's sales for religious books were $67.4 million, with the category's sales down by 10.6% for the year. Sales of religious books have been on a steady decline, decreasing 13.8%, 9.3%, 22%, 12%, 7.1%, 11.4%, 19% and 9% in August, July, June, May, April, March, February and January, respectively.

The bright spot in the AAP report was E-book sales, which continued to rise in September, seeing a 170.7% increase for the month to $15.9 million--reflecting an increase of 176.1% for the year.

The Adult Hardcover category was up by 74.1% in September with sales of $302.4 million, and year-to-date sales were up by 2.9%. Adult Paperback sales decreased 1.7% for the month--posting $132.4 million in sales, and the category was down 8.2% for the year.

The Children's/Young Adult Hardcover category decreased by 24.3% for the month--with sales of $92.7 million, but year-to-date sales were up by 5.1%. The Paperback category for the same age increased by 8.6% in September with sales totaling $54.2 million, and sales rose by 2.5% for the year.

Audiobook sales increased 2.9% in September--with sales totaling $22 million, but the category's year-to-date sales were down by 21.2%.

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