Books Industry Study Group (BISG), a leading trade association for policy, standards, and research that forecasts annual publishing-sector business trends, estimated that 2004 total publishers’ net revenues reached $28.6 billion – a 2.8 percent rise over the previous year’s profit.
Within the growth, religious books undisputedly made the biggest improvement over the past four years – says BISG. The results of the BISG study, compiled in Book Industry Trends 2005, are drawn from a variety of data sources, ranging from U.S. government reports to interviews with industry professionals.
Books Industry TRENDS 2005 further predicted that over the next five years, books revenues will increase by 18.3 percent – with religious books making the highest possible growth of 50 percent.
Religious books including “hardcover and paperback Bibles, biblical studies, testaments, histories, spiritual titles, hymnals, and prayer books, along with other titles pertaining to religion, inspirational titles, and religious fiction - recorded the biggest gains in 2004; with an 11 percent increase reaching $1.9 billion in sales.”
“The growth of religious-book sales at mainstream retailers is the key factor behind the dollar growth of 11 percent in the sector in 2004 and behind BISG’s projections for steady growth over the next several years,” stated Jim Milliot, Senior Editor for Business and News at Publishers Weekly and author of the TRENDS 2005 introductory essays. “While price increases played a part, units were up 8.5 percent in 2004, and BISG projects that they will increase at a better than 6 percent rate through 2007.”