The trade and religion segments continued to be the industry’s bright spots through September, according to figures released by the AAP through its StatShot program.
Though the adult book category saw sales fall 1.5% in September, sales were still up 4.4% in the first nine months of 2018 over the same period in 2017. The big format winner in the year, so far, is downloadable audio, where sales were up 36.5% over the first nine months of 2017. Physical audiobooks, meanwhile, dropped 28.0%. E-book sales were down 3.9% in the year to date. Among the print formats, hardcover has had the best year, with sales up 7.0% through September.
The children’s/young adult category had one of its best months of the year in September, with sales up 8.9% over September 2017. This helped lift category sales in the year to date up 3.5% over the January to September period in 2017.
The religion category has had the best 2018, with sales up 7.6% in the first nine months of the year compared to 2017.
The scholarly and educational categories, however, all posted declines in sales through the first nine months of 2018. Sales in the period in the professional book segment were off the most, down 9.8% compared to 2017. And university press sales were down 8.4%. Sales in the higher educational course materials category fell 6.7% in the nine month period, and sales of K-12 instructional materials dropped 4.9%.
For all 1,080 publishers who report data to the AAP, September sales were down 3.1% and revenue for the first nine months of 2018 fell 1.4% compared to the January to September period in 2017.