Here's some information from Wall Street Journal today on the state of publishing and its outlook for fall.
Sales: American Association of Publishers (AAP) Sales Flat in August; September General Slump
In August, net sales rose 0.6% to $1.5 billion for 79 publishers that reported to the Association of American Publishers. Net sales through August have fallen 1.4% to $6.651 billion.
Sales of selected categories:
E-books leapt 82.9%, to $4.3 million.
Children's/YA paperback jumped 18.4% to $69.4 million.
Adult hardcover rose 9.2% to $100.9 million.
Professional and scholarly rose 3% to $99.8 million.
Adult paperback edged up 1.8% to $147.4 million.
Adult mass market fell 4.5% to $70.1 million.
Audiobooks wound back 6.9% to $11.9 million.
Children's/YA hardcover fell 9.3% to $96.4 million.
Religious books dropped 10.8% to $61.1 million.
University press paperback slid 13.9% to $9.8 million.
University press hardcover fell 17.8% to $6.4 million.
In September, sales at general retail stores sagged at most types of stores, even luxury retailers, as the financial crisis deepened. Warehouse clubs were the only segment that had solid gains in sales at stores open at least a year: BJ's sales rose 10.4%, Sam's Club was up 4.6%. Wal-Mart sales rose 2.4%.
By contrast, sales at Saks dropped 10.9%, and Nordstrom's was down 9.6%. Even some value stores with a less utilitarian feel had lower sales: Target dropped 3%. Kohl's was down 5.5% and Penney was off 12.4%
(Lyle's Comment) This gives you a general feel for the economy. As you notice, publishing is better off than the rest of the economy as a whole. CFI's sales through August are up 7% in spite of very heavy returns from Deseret Book.
Publishers generally do a little better than the economy in a slump. People are looking for entertainment, guidance and information. YOU'RE NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER. Keep writing. I'm looking for that best-selling book Monday.