Is the impending doom of the publishing industry being overstated? That’s what a New York Times article contends with data from a survey released Tuesday that purports to show the publishing industry’s revenues and sales grew overall from 2008 to 2010.

BookStats, a comprehensive survey conducted by two major trade groups that was released early Tuesday, revealed that in 2010 publishers generated net revenue of $27.9 billion, a 5.6 percent increase over 2008. Publishers sold 2.57 billion books in all formats in 2010, a 4.1 percent increase since 2008.

The survey also notes that e-books grew from 0.6% of the overall book market in 2008 to 6.4% of the total in 2010. There are further, detailed stats listed in the article, including the interesting fact that mass market paperback book sales have declined 16% since 2008. Perhaps they’re being replaced by e-books?

I wonder how much of the growth in book sales can be traced to the down economy. When times are tough, people look for whatever escapism they can find; that’s why the pulps flourished during the Great Depression.


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