Sales of adult trade books rose 8.9% this last May over May 2015 and May sales in the children’s/young adult category rose 2.7%, according to figures released by the Association of American Publishers in its StatShot program.
The increase in adult book sales was driven by solid gains in all formats with the exception of e-books, which declined 18.3% in the month. The largest increase came from a surprising source—mass market paperbacks. Sales of the format jumped 48.7%. (Despite the jump in sales of mass market title during the month, though, sales of the format were still down 4.6% for the first five months of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.)
In the children’s/young adult segment, the 2.7% increase was led by a 20.4% increase in hardcover sales, and a 12.5% gain in sales of board books. These gains offset a 20.5% drop in e-book sales, and an 11.1% decline in paperback sales.
For the first five months of 2016, sales of adult trade books were down 4.2% from the comparable period in 2015. All segments, except downloadable audio (up 28.2%) and trade paperback (up 8.9%), experienced sales declines. E-book sales were off 19.4% for the five month period.
In children’s/YA, sales for the five-month period were down 0.9%, as declines in e-books and board books offset gains in hardcover and paperback.
For all publishing segments, sales were up 1.6% in May, but down 3.3% for the year-to-date.
Sales are based on figures supplied to AAP by 1,210 publishers.