Strong sales of K-12 instructional materials led to a 2% increase in overall September sales for the 1,368 publishers that report results to AAP’s StatShot program. Sales of K-12 materials rose 35.2% in September and were up 32.7% for the first nine months of the year. The higher sales reflect a rebound from depressed sales last year, when schools limited buying because of the pandemic. K-12 sales for all of 2020 declined 12.5% compared to 2019.

The K-12 segment was the big driver for industry sales through the first nine months of 2021. Through the January-September period, industry sales rose 12.4%, with only sales in the higher education category down from last year, slipping 0.5%.

Though sales of adult books fell 4.1% in September, they were up 13.3% for the first nine months of 2021 over last year. Sales of children’s books/young adult book were up 14.2% in the year to date, including a 7.3% increase in September.

Sales of religion books continued to rebound from a soft 2020, with sales up 12.6% in the first nine months of the year and 10.6% in September. In other categories, sales of professional books were up 5% in the year to date despite falling 10.1% in September, while sales of university presses increased 15.8% through September.

In adult trade, all print formats were up through September, led by a 20.8% increase in trade paperback sales. E-book sales were down 4.3% in the first nine months of the year, but sales of digital audio increased 16.7%.

In children’s/YA, all print formats had double-digit gains over the first nine months of 2020, while e-book sales declined 6.6%.