Sales of trade books rose 3.8% in the first six months of 2019 over the comparable period in 2018, according to figures compiled by the AAP as part of its StatShot program.
AAP includes sales of adult books, children/young adult titles as well as religious presses in its trade group, and the religion segment had the biggest gain in the period with sales up 11.4%. Sales in the children/YA segment rose 7.4% in the first half of 2019 over 2018, while adult book sales increased 1.4%.
Within the adult book category, the 1.4% sales gain was led by a 35.2% increase in downloadable audio sales. (Downloadable audio accounted for 10.7% of category net sales, up from 8.1% a year ago.) Trade paperback was the only other format that posted gains in the first half of 2019 in the adult segment, with sales rising 3.2%. E-book sales dropped 3.8% in the period, while hardcover sales fell 3.2%. Mass market paperback continued to be soft, with sales down 12.1%.
In the children/ya category, hardcover sales increased 9.0%, paperback sales were up 6.9%, and sales of board books rose 4.6%.
For all 1,360 publishers that report sales to the AAP, revenue rose 6.9% led by the K-12 instructional materials category. There, sales jumped 31.4% over the first six months of 2018. The higher educational course materials segment, however, continued to struggle in 2019, with sales down 5.3% in the first half of the year.