Sales of print books in the major trade categories fell 22.9% in the first six months of 2011 at the houses that report figures to the Association of American Publishers. The declines were greatest among the adult segments, with sales down by more than 20% in the hardcover, trade paperback, and mass market paperback categories. While e-book sales jumped 161.3% in the six-month period, the gain was not enough to offset the decline in print, and combined e-book and print book revenue fell 8.6% at the reporting trade publishers. Print book sales were no doubt hurt by the demise of Borders, which sold few new titles from the major houses during the going-out-of-business sales conducted at closing stores.

June was an especially bad month for the print trade segments, topped by a 63.8% decline in sales in the trade paperback segment at the 16 reporting houses. E-book sales rose 167.1% in the month, to $80.2 million.

Mass market paperback sales were down 21.6% in June and 28.5% for the first half of 2011. With sales of $232.5 million from seven reporting companies, paperback sales were less than half of e-book sales, which were $473.8 million, a total that already surpassed sales for all of 2010 at the reporting houses.

In other areas, downloadable audio sales rose 24.9% for June and 17.8% for the January-June period, and totaled $44 million. Sales of physical audio fell 19.6% in the first half of the year, to $48.5 million, at the 13 audio publishers that report sales. The 22 religious book publishers that supplied results had a good first half, with sales up 13.7%. Higher education sales fell 10.3% in the first six months, and el-hi sales declined 21.9% at reporting companies. Sales in the professional segment dropped 7.7%, university press hardcover sales fell 6.0%, while university press paperback sales rose 1.3%.

AAP Six-Month Trade Sales 2010–2011 ($ in millions)

Category 2010 2011 % Change
Adult Hardcover (13)* $617.8 $471.1 -23.7%
Adult Paperback (16) 710.1 521.4 -26.6
Mass Market (7) 325.3 232.5 -28.5
Children's/YA Hardcover (11) 272.0 240.1 -11.7
Children's/YA Paperback (10) 244.0 207.1 -15.1
Total Print $2,169.2 $1,672.2 -22.9%
E-book (15) 181.3 473.8 161.3
Combined $2,350.5 $2,146.0 -8.6%