Bookstore sales finished the first half of 2019 down 5.1% compared to the first six months of 2018, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sales in the January through June period this year were $4.59 billion, down from $4.84 billion a year ago. Sales in 2018 benefited from strong sales of political books in the first half of the year, as well as the publication of what would become the biggest-selling novel of the year, The President is Missing.
Sales this June fell 4.9% compared to June 2018, dropping to $672 million from $707 million. For the entire retail market, sales for the first six months of 2019 were up 2.8% over the same period a year ago, while June sales rose $7.2%.