Sales in the children/young adult category jumped 20.9% in October over October 2018, according to the Association of American Publishers’ StatShot program. The increase was led by the performance of Wrecking Ball, which helped lift sales of hardcovers, where sales rose 29.3% over October 2018. Sales of paperbacks increased 21.7%. For the first 10 months of 2019, sales in the children/young adult segment were up 9.9% over the comparable period of 2018.
Sales of adult books did not perform nearly as well as children/young adult. In October, sales fell 3.7% as sales of all formats except trade paperback (up 3.2%) and downloadable audio (ahead 16.3%) fell. The mass market paperback category had a particularly bad month, with sales tumbling 38% compared to October 2018.
For the first 10 months of 2019, sales of adult books were up 0.4%. The increase was due almost entirely to the continued strength of downloadable audio where sales increased 24.8% over the comparable period in 2018. Trade paperback sales inched up 0.5% in the period but sales of hardcovers fell 0.9%, mass market paperback was down 18%, and e-book sales were off 4% in the January-October span.
Sales of all 1,361 publishers who reported results to AAP fell 0.8% compared to October 2018. Sales of higher educational course materials plunged 67.9% in the month offsetting the gains in the children/young adult and K-12 instructional materials category, where sales increased 10.3% in the month. For the first 10 months of 2019, sales of higher educational materials were down 12.7%, while K-12 instructional material sales increased 25.5%.