The two trade segments had a mixed performance in the first quarter of 2022, based on results from AAP’s StatShot program. Sales from reporting publishers fell 0.6% in the adult category, but rose 10.2% in the children’s/young adult segment. Taken together, trade sales increased 2.6% over the first quarter of 2021.
In the adult category, print sales were up 1.1%, as the small mass market paperback format saw sale plummet 20.2%. Hardcover sales fell 4.4% in the quarter, but trade paperback sales increased 9.9%. Digital sales dropped 2.9%, as a 5.3% increase in sales of downloadable audio was offset by a 8.6% decline in e-book sales.
In the children’s/YA category, the sales increase was led by a 23.5% jump in paperback sales, while hardcover sales rose 1.9%. E-book sales fell 18.8% in the quarter and downloadable audio declined 12.5%.
Sales from religious presses fell 4% in the quarter driven down by an 8% decline in hardcover sales and declines in both digital formats. In the other categories, sales of higher educational course materials were flat in the quarter, and sales or professional books dropped 8.4%. University press sales fell 4.4%.
Total sales for the 1,366 publishers who report results to the AAP rose 1.1% in the quarter. Figures exclude sales from the K-12 instructional materials segment, since March figures in the category were delayed.
The AAP report is at odds with the sales of print units reported by NPD BookScan, which saw units fall 8.9% in the quarter and could reflect higher book prices.