In 2003-04, book publishers sold 128.8 million books with a total value of $1,353.2m to book retailers and directly to the general public. Some $811.9m (89.2 million books) of these were sales of new Australian titles. Approximately 14% (by value) of all books published were sold overseas, predominantly to the United States and New Zealand.
Educational books accounted for 39% of sales, with general non-fiction accounting for 36%, general fiction 15% and specialised children's books 9%.
Book publishers reported selling $305.9m worth of books to final consumers in 2003-04. By comparison, the 2003-04 Book Retailers Survey reported that 80 million new books valued at $1,406.5m were sold via retail outlets. Approximately 78% of these were sold by bookshops, 14% by department stores, 6% by newsagents and 2% by supermarkets and other large retailers. The figures suggest that some readers are by-passing book retailers with approximately 15% of the income from sales to final consumers being earned by book publishers, often selling by subscription or straight to public and private organisations and schools.
See Chapter 3 for information on household expenditure on literature.