May was a bad month for publishers, with sales down in most of the major categories compared to the same month last year. Within the adult books category, hardcover sales fell 17.3%, while mass market paperback sales plunged 40.3% and e-book sales declined 4.4%. A bright spot was sales of downloads of audiobooks, which jumped 62.4%. Total sales in the children’s/YA category fell 9.3%, as e-book sales tumbled 53.5% and hardcover sales dropped 18.9%. For the first five months of 2015, adult e-book sales were down 3.7% compared to the same period in 2014, while e-book sales in the children’s/YA segment fell 43.3%. Among the trade categories, audiobook downloads had the best performance in the five-month period, with sales up 42.0%.
(Comparisons of $ sales against same periods in 2014)