Sales were up for both the adult trade and children’s/YA trade segments in 2012, but revenue for the entire industry fell 2.2%, to $14.90 billion at the 1,193 companies that report to AAP’s StatShot program. In the adult book category, sales rose 5.6% in the year, to $4.85 billion at reporting publishers led by a 33.2% increase in e-book sales that hit $1.25 billion. Boosted by the Fifty Shades trilogy, sales of trade paperbacks increased 6.2%, while sales of downloadable audio increased 19.1%. Hardcover sales fell 6.7% in the year, mass market paperback sales dropped 12.4% and physical audio sales declined 10.1% at reporting publishers. E-books represented 25.8% of all sales in the adult trade segment in 2012, up from 20.4% in 2011 at reporting StatShot publishers.
In the children’s/YA segment, sales in the year were up 13.1%, to $1.68 billion, driven by hardcover sales of The Hunger Games trilogy with hardcover revenue up 11.2%. E-book sales jumped 120.9%, to $232.8 million, while sales of paperbacks dropped 4.5%. E-book sales represented 13.8% of sales in the children’s/YA segment last year.
Outside of the trade area, university presses was the only other segment to post a gain in the year with sales up 10%. Sales in the religion segment declined 5.4% and fell 5.1% in the professional books category. The k-12 instructional materials category had the worst year with sales down 15.9% at reporting companies, while sales of higher education course materials fell 5.3%.
The AAP noted that the StatShot program is based on actual sales from reporting publishers. A more comprehensive look at the industry will come later this year with the release of data in the BookStat report which the AAP produces in cooperation with the Book Industry Study Group. Highlights of BookStats 2013 will be issued at the Making Information Pay conference set for May 15 in New York.