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Book sales up 4 percent

Rebounding after years of low sales, the publishing industry posted gains of more than 4 percent last year. The Book Industry Study Group said the unit sales of adult trade books are projected to grow more than 2 percent annually through 2003.

The BISG also forecast lukewarm sales for trade publishing, which produces novels and nonfiction, and more robust sales for college texts and business titles. According to Book Industry Trends 1998, domestic consumers are expected to spend $32.8 billion on books by the year 2002, up from an estimated $21.2 billion in 1992.

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Other points of note:

*Childrens books sold more than 364 million copies in 1998, up 6 percent.

*Popular fiction dominated e-commerce sales at 33 percent, followed by technical, science, and education (14 percent) and cooking and crafts (12 percent).

*Households with less than $30,000 income bought 41 percent of all books, with those of more than $75,000 next at 25 percent.

*Households in the Pacific states, were the heaviest book buyers, contributing 19 percent of all purchases.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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