Sales of adult trade books fell 1.6% in the first nine months of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015, according to figures released this morning by the Association of American Publishers as part of its StatShot program. Sales of children’s and young adult books increased 4.9% in the same period.
Within the adult book segment, the overall decline was mainly due to a 16.9% drop in e-book sales and a 2.2% drop in hardcover sales. In the small physical audiobook segment, sales dropped 10.6%. Digital audio had the strongest gain in the period, with sales up 29.5% over 2015. Trade paperback sales rose 8.2%. E-books accounted for 22.7% of sales in segment for the period, down from 26.9% in the comparable time span in 2015.
In the children’s/YA segment, a 16.0% increase in hardcover sales in the first nine months of 2016 offset a 34.2% drop in e-book sales. Board book sales were off 3.9% in the period, but paperback sales were up 2.8%. E-books represented 5.6% of all children’s/ya sales in the January-September period in 2016, down from 8.9% a year ago.
Sales for all of the 1,207 publishers that supplied data to the AAP for the first nine months of the year were down 5.8% with the largest declines coming in the higher education (down 11.3%) and professional (off 23.6%).