Total book sales rose 1.0% in 2013 over 2012, to $15.05 billion, at the 1,211 publishers that report results to the Association of American Publishers’ StatShot program. Every one of the major book categories measured by the AAP had an increase in the year with the exception of the children & young adult segment where sales fell 6.6% due mainly to difficult comparisons to 2012 when the Hunger Games was a huge hit. The adult book category managed to show a 0.8% increase in the year despite the blockbuster numbers turned in by the Fifty Shades trilogy in 2012.
The AAP and Book Industry Study Group will release sales estimates for the entire book industry later this year.
In an era when industry members are as interested in what formats are selling as in what books are selling, the AAP figures show that adult e-book sales rose 3.8%, to $1.30 billion at the publishers that report sales while hardcover sales increased 9.7%, to $1.52 billion. Trade paperback sales fell 9.3%, to $1.36 billion, and the mass market paperback segment sales fell 7.7%, to $373.1 million. Downloaded audio had a good year with sales up 18.6%, to $131.6 million, while physical audio sales were basically flat at $78.4 million.
In the children’s category, the 6.6% decline was due to a 26.7% decline in e-book sales, to $170.5 million, and a 10.9% drop in hardcover sales, to 733.3 million.
Combining the e-book sales for the adult and children’s trade groups, total sales of the format fell 1.0% in 2013, to $1.47 billion. E-books’ share of the adult trade market rose to 26.6% of all sales of companies that report to AAP in that category compared to 25.9% in 2012. E-books’ accounted for 10.9% of children’s sales in 2012 compared to 13.9% in 2012.
In the other major categories for the year, sales of religious books rose 1.9%, while sales of professional books increased 3.1% and university press sales rose 2.9%. In the educational segments, sales of K-12 materials rose 4.5% and sales of higher education course materials rose 1.4% at publishers that report to AAP.