The children/young adult category was one of only two categories that posted a sales increase this August, over August 2018, according to AAP’s StatShot program. All three print formats posted gains in the month, leading to an overall increase in the category of 7.9%.
August sales dropped 7.5% in the adult book segment compared to 2018 with every format except downloadable audio posting a sales decline. The biggest drop came in the mass market paperback format where sales tumbled 22.7%. Trade paperback sales also had a tough month, with sales down 12.0%. Even the increase in downloadable audio was modest in terms of the segment’s rapid growth; sales were up only 5.7% in August, although for the first eight months of 2018 sales of the format were up 25.7% over the comparable period a year ago.
Sales for all 1,361 publishers who reported data to AAP fell 8.0% in August. The only other segment beside the children/ya category to have a sales gain in the month was K-12 instructional materials, where sales increased 12.7%.
The higher educational course materials segment had the worst August performance, with sales down 24.7%. The big decline in the category was reflected in the recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau that showed a 10.3% decline in August bookstore sales compared to 2018. A drop in spending by students at college stores was seen as a major factor for the decline.
Through the first eight months of 2019, total sales of the companies that report to the AAP were up 3.6%. Sales of adult books increased 0.9% over the first eight month of 2018, while sales in the children/ya segment rose 8.9%.