After a poor January, sales of adult trade books rebounded in February, rising 6.6% over February 2018, according to the AAP’s monthly StatShot program. Downloadable audio once again led the sales increase, with sales up 36.3% over last February, and accounted for 12.1% of adult trade sales in the month compared to 9.7% a year ago.
The hardcover segment also had a good month, with sales up 13.4%. Mass market paperback sales dropped 8.3% compared to a year ago. In the children/young adult segment, February sales were up 13.4%, led by double-digit gains in both the hardcover and paperback formats.
For the first two months of 2019, adult trade sales were down 1.0% compared to a year ago. Sales were off in all segments except for downloadable audio. In the children/ya category, sales were up 7.5% in the first two months of the year over 2018, with only e-book sales posting a decline.
For all 1,373 publishers who report data to the AAP, sales in February rose 7.2%, with the children/ya and higher educational course materials segments leading the way. For the first two months of 2019, total sales increased 0.6%, with sales of religion books having the best start in the two month period, seeing sales up 20.8% from reporting publishers. Sales of professional books had the biggest decline, with sales down 18.5%.