The two major trade segments had a slow start to the year, according to the Association of American Publishers' StatShot program. Sales in the adult category fell 12.9% in January, compared to the first month of last year. Sales in the children's/young adult category fell 20.4%.
Within the adult segment, e-book sales continued to struggle, falling 22.3% in the month. Mass market paperback showed no signs of recovery in January either, falling 33.3%. Hardcover sales declined 17.6% in the month, and sales of physical audiobooks dropped 39.1%. Downloadable audio was a bright spot, with sales rising 30.3% over January 2015, while sales of trade paperback inched ahead 0.5%.
In the children's/YA segment, e-book sales plunged 45.2%, while board book sales, which rose markedly in 2015, fell 53.8% in the month. Hardcover sales fell 30.3%. Paperbacks were the only format to post an increase in sales in January, up 17.0%.
Sales for the entire book market fell 6.7% in January. The strongest segments in the month were K-12 instructional materials where sales rose 7.9% and religion where sales increased 4.2%.
All figures reflect sales from 1,205 publishers that report data to the AAP.