Sales in the two major trade segments fell in April, compared to the same period in 2016, according to new figures released by the AAP. Adult book sales dropped 4.0% in the month, compared to April 2016. In the children's/young adult category, sales declined 4.6%.
The decline in adult book sales was almost entirely due to a 56.5% drop in sales in the mass market paperback category. Sales of e-books fell 6.0% in the month, while trade paperback also dipped 6.0%. Hardcover sales were solid in April, up 7.8%. Downloadable audio sales increased 28.6%.
Even with the April decline, sales of adult trade titles were up 1.3% in the first four months of 2017, over the comparable period in 2016. The increase was led by a 24.5% jump in downloadable audio sales, and a 14.1% gain in hardcover sales.
The 4.6% drop in children’s/young adult sales in the month was due to a 21.6% decline in e-book sales. Sales of all three print formats were up in April, led by a 13.5% gain in board book sales. For the first four months of 2017, sales in the segment were down 3.6% compared to the January-April period in 2016.
Despite the decline in the trade areas, overall book sales were up 0.6% in the month, led by a jump in higher educational course materials where sales rose 72.2.% Sales for the first four months of 2017 were up 4.2% in the January-April period of over 2016.
Sales from the AAP, released as part of its StatShot program, are based on figures from 1,205 publishers that are provided to the organization .