Sales of adult trade books rose 5.2% in the first quarter of 2018 over the comparable period in 2017, according to preliminary estimates released by the AAP as part of its StatShot program. Sales in the children's/young adult segment increased 5.9% over last year's first quarter.
In the adult segment, hardcover sales, driven by the blockbuster Fire and Fury, rose 11.2% over last year's first quarter. The strongest format performance, however, was in downloadable audio; there, sales jumped almost 33% over the first quarter of 2017. E-book sales from the traditional trade publishers that report to StatShot fell 3.0% in the period. E-book sales represented 22.2% of sales in the adult book category, while downloadable audio sales accounted for 7.8% of sales.
In the children's/YA segment, an increase of 8.4% in hardcover sales, and a 4.8% rise in paperback sales, were the two drivers on the quarterly gain in segment sales over 2017. Board books and e-book sales fell 10.4% and 7.1%, respectively, in the quarter.
For all 1,076 publishers who reported results to StatShot, sales were up 6.2% over last year's first period. The biggest increase came in the religious press segment, where revenue rose 20.6%. Sales in the K-12 instructional materials category dropped 8.2% in the quarter.