Sales of adult books dropped 9.8% in July, compared to the same period in 2016, while sales in the children’s/young adult segment fell 36.8%. The statistics are derived from figures released by the Association of American Publishers as part of its StatShot program.
The plunge in children’s/ya sales was due to the release last July of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was a huge hit in 2016. The publication of Potter had the greatest impact on the children’s/ya hardcover format, where sales fell 61.1% in July compared to a year ago. E-book sales were down 16.0%. Despite the tough comparison caused by Potter, sales in the first seven months of 2017 in the children’s/ya category were only down 3.5%, compared to the same period in 2016.
In the adult books segment, mass market paperback and physical audio saw declines of 26.3% and 41.7%, respectively. Only sales of downloadable audio had an increase in the month, with sales up 21.6%. Even with the soft July, sales in the segment for the first seven months of 2017 were up 1.1%, compared to the same period a year ago.
For the 1,204 publishers who report data to AAP, July sales were down 11.7%, but were up 0.2% year-to-date.