Helped by a strong September, sales of adult trade books rose 2.9% in the first nine months of 2015 over the comparable period in 2014, according to figures released by the Association of American Publishers through its StatShot program. Sales in the children’s/young adult segment for the nine-month period were down 7.4%, but slipped only 0.6% in September.
The 10.1% increase in September sales of adult trade books were driven by double-digit gains in the trade paperback, mass market paperback, and downloadable audio categories. These gains offset a 7.7% drop in e-book sales.
For the first nine months of 2015 sales of digital audio were up 41.5% over 2014, and trade paperback sales rose 16.0%. Adult hardcover sales were off 3.2%, mass market paperback fell 12.5%, and e-book revenue declined 4.8% in the nine-month period.
In the children’s/young adult segment during September, e-book sales plunged 46.8%. However, there was a 3.2% increase in paperback sales and a 1.3% gain in hardcover sales.
For the nine month period, the 7.4% drop in the children's/young adult segment was caused by a 44.8% decline in e-book sales combined with a 14.5% drop in hardcover sales. Sales of paperbacks were up 8.9%, and board book sales rose 13.6%.
Total sales for all 1,205 publishers who reported figures to the AAP were down 0.7% in September and sales in the year to date were off 2.0%.