Trade sales tumbled in February, according to statistics released Friday morning by the Association of American Publishers. Sales of adult books dropped 7.2% in February compared to February 2014, while sales in the children/young adult category fell 32.1%.
Within adult trade, sales of hardcovers fell 23.6%, mass market paperback sales dropped 31.2%, and e-book sales declined 8.7%. Sales of trade paperbacks rose 12.8%, and sales of audio rose in both physical and downloadable formats.
In the children/young adult segment, sales fell by double-digits in all formats with the biggest decline coming in e-book sales which dropped 46.5%. Hardcover sales fell 32.4%, while sales of paperbacks and board books fell 26.9% and 12.2%, respectively.
The harsh winter weather no doubt played a part in the poor sales month for the trade segments. Sales in children/young adult were also impacted by the strong sales in early 2014 of Divergent and other young adult titles that have not been repeated in 2015.
For the first two months of 2015, adult book sales were down 7.5% and sales of children/young adult titles were off 15.5%. At the end of the two month period, e-books accounted for 31.3% of adult sales compared to 33.0% in the first two months of 2014. In the children/young adult category, e-books accounted for 13.0% of sales in the January-February period in 2015, down from 18.5% in the comparable 2014 period.
Results are based on sales from 1,210 publishers who supply data to AAP’s StatShot program.