Sales of adult books fell again in February, while sales in the children's/young adult category rebounded, according to figures released Tuesday by the Association of American Publishers. The numbers, provided by AAP's StatShot program, indicate adult book sales dropped 6.6%, compared to February 2015. Sales in the children's/ya segment, meanwhile, rose 17.0%.
Within the adult segment, mass market paperbacks had another bad month with sales off 26.3% compared to last February and hardcover sales fell 10.2%. E-book sales dropped 15.6%. Downloadable audio continued to be a bright spot with February sales up 44.4%. Trade paperback sales rose 4.2%.
The three print formats all had solid February gains in the children's/ya category; hardcover sales rose 34.8%, board book were up 31.9%, and paperback sales increased 25.6%. E-book sales, however, plunged in the month, down 37.4%.
The higher education segment had the strongest month among the major publishing categories with sales up 55.5%.
For the first two months of 2016, sales of adult books were down 10.1% with big declines coming in hardcover (off 14.7%), mass market (down 30.4%), physical audio (a drop of 37.9%) and e-books (down 19.1%). E-books accounted for 28.3% of adult trade sales in the first two months of 2016 compared to 31.4% in the January-February period in 2015.
Two month sales dropped 6.0% in the children's/ya segment. The category had steep declines in e-book sales (down 41.7%) and board books (off 32.7%), partially offset by a 21.1% gain in paperback sales. E-books accounted for 7.9% of total sales in the category in the first two months of the year, down from 12.8% in the comparable 2015 period.
The StatShot figures are based on sales from 1,205 publishers across the industry.