Sales of adult trade books rose 3.4% in the first quarter of 2017 over the comparable period in 2016, according to the latest figures released by the Association of American Publishers’ StatShot program. Within adult trade, hardcover sales jumped 18.1% in the quarter, offsetting declines in the paperback formats. Downloadable audio sales rose 23.1% in the quarter, but
e-book sales continued to drop, falling 4.5%. Sales in the children’s/YA category fell 3.2% in the first quarter. The major factor driving down sales was weak demand for paperbacks. Sales in the format fell 14.2%, offsetting a 14.6% sales gain by board books. The higher-educational course materials segment, which had a large sales decline in 2016, experienced the largest gain in the 2017 first quarter, with sales up 24.3%.The area with the most significant decline was religious publishing, where sales dropped 7.4%. The StatShot figures are compiled from 1,202 publishers that report to the AAP. Overall sales for reporting publishers were up 4.9% in the first quarter of 2017 over 2016.
(Comparisons of $ sales against same periods in 2016)