In 1974 and early 1975, mass market paperback publishing, after several years as book publishing's greatest growth sector, slowed like a quarter horse attempting six furlongs. In 1973, mass market publishers' receipts of $285.9 million (at retail, about $410 million) represented an increase of 13.1 percent over 1972 and 24.9 percent over 1971. But the 1974 total of $293.6 million (about $420 million at retail) was up a modest 2.7 percent over 1973—the worst growth record of any area of hardcover or paperback publishing. Paperback publishers' pretax net income was down from 6.2 percent in 1973 to 3.8 percent in 1974. And in the first months of 1975, mass market paperback sales were no better than even with 1974's performance. Worse yet, 1974's modest increase proved to be entirely caused by inflation; unit sales, 1973-74, were actually off by about 3.3 percent.