USAToday has A Story on the drop in book sales last year.
They credit Rowling for a rise in childrens books sales of 10.1% between 1999 and 2000. Adult Hardcover sales dropped 12.9% and trade paperbacks declined 14.2%, while cheaper, rack-sized mass-market paperbacks fell 2.8%.
Pat Schroeder blames it on the uncertainty about the outcome of the presidential election.
More likely are the price increases by publishers and smaller discounts from booksellers, consumers spent more while buying fewer books, spending $14.14 billion last year, up from $13.24 billion in 1999. They say previous industry studies have warned of a limited number of people willing to spend $25 on a book.
Duh. Someone needs to go back to college and take an economics class.