The first quarter of 2014 was a mixed period for the book industry, based on sales reports from the 1,218 publishers that take part in AAP’s StatShot program. The children’s/YA category had the strongest start as all the major formats had big gains, led by a 39.6% increase in e-book sales and a 37.2% gain in board book sales. Sales in the adult category dipped 0.7% in the quarter as mass market sales dropped 12.9% and trade paperback sales fell 2.8%, offsetting a 3.0% sales increase in hardcover. Adult e-book sales slipped 0.6%, to $323.9 million, and accounted for 32.3% of sales in the adult segment in both the first quarter of 2014 and 2013. Sales of digital audiobooks had a solid quarter with sales up 24.3%, offsetting an 11.3% decline in the sale of physical audio. First quarter sales of religious books rose 1.8% due to a 25.9% increase in e-book sales and a 6.3% gain in paperback sales that overcame the 5.8% drop in hardcover sales.
(Measured in $ sales against same time periods, 2013)