Tough comparisons to November 2018 led to a bad month for publishing last November. According to AAP's BookStat's, sales of adult books from reporting publishers fell 27% in November 2019 compared to the year before, and dropped 23.8% in the children/young adult segment. Sales for all 1,361 reporting publishers declined 23.9% in the month.
Despite the poor November, industry sales were up 0.9% in the first 11 months of 2019 over the same span in 2018. Sales in the children/YA category were rose 5.2%, but sales of adult books were off 3.3%.
In November, adult hardcover and trade paperback sales fell 38.9% and 30.9%, respectively. Downloadable audio was the only format to post a gain in the month, with sales up 28.8% over November 2018.
In the children/YA category, sales fell in all formats with the hardcover segment posting the largest drop, declining 32.7%. Board book sales were down 22.1%.
For the other publishing segments, the K-12 instructional materials segment had the best results through November, with sales up 24.7%. Sales of religion publishers were flat and sales in the other categories were down, including the higher education course materials segment, where sales were down 13.5% in the first 11 months of 2019.