Industry sales fell 1.4% in the first half of 2018 compared to the first six months of 2017, according to figures released by the AAP through its StatShot program.
The decline was mainly due to a 13.6% drop in sales in the K-12 instructional materials segment. The two main consumer categories had gains with adult book sales up 4.2% and children’s/young adult sales inching up 0.3% over the first half of 2017. The religious segment had the largest sales gain in the first six months with revenue growing 11.5%.
In the adult book segment, hardcover sales rose 7.9% in the first half of year, while trade paperback sales increased 4.1%. Mass market paperback sales fell 7.6%. The star performing format continued to be downloadable audio where sales in the first six months jumped 34.1% over the same period in 2017. Downloadable audio accounted for 8.1% of adult book sales in the first six months of 2018, up from 6.2% in the comparable period in 2017.
Sales of e-books, meanwhile, fell again; they dropped 4.5% and accounted for 20% of adult book sales in the first six months of 2018. In the comparable period in 2017, the format generated 21.8% of revenue.
In the children’s/YA segment’s small gain was due to minor declines in all the major formats (with hardcover and paperback sales both falling by 1% or less), offset by a 24.2% sales increase in “other” formats.
The sales figures are based on reports from 1,076 publishers who report results to the AAP.