While the AAP reports that US book sales are definitely down and my friends in major houses report a decline of 10% or more across the board, that’s not what we’re hearing from Canada and it’s not what we hard from small and midsize publishers responding to our BISG “Shifting Sales Channels” survey.
BookNet Canada reports 665 “same stores” in Canada reported units up 6.7% and dollar volume up 5% year on year in the first quarter! Michael Tamblyn tries to fish for reasons on the BNC blog, but there is no cause immediately apparent. Michael decides that it isn’t a Stephenie Meyer effect because there something like the Meyer effect happens just about every year.
The BISG and Idea Logical survey for “Sales Channels” was nowhere near as scientific, but we did get 245 responses which suggests the results are worthy of serious consideration.
One response in particular blew me away. We asked whether “overall sales for the past 12 months have been considerably weaker than for the two years prior?” Every large publisher we talked to said “yes” to that. Three significant smaller publishers we talked to said emphatically “no”, they just had record years. In the survey, 73% of large publishers said “yes” (sales had been much weaker) and 65% of smaller and midsize publishers said “no”!
We got a similar split on the question “have sales of your books fallen substantially any specific channels or accounts over the past three years?” Only 44.9% of the medium and small publishers said “yes” to that but 63% of the large publishers did!
So sales seem to be stronger for smaller publishers and smaller countries.