With sales in all categories falling, the 1,367 publishers who provide results to AAP’s StatShot program reported an overall 12.6% decline in sales in April compared to a year ago. (Sales for K-12 instructional materials were not included due to a delay in reporting).

The April decline resulted in a 2.3% drop in industry sales through the first four months of 2021. Sales had been up 1.1% in the first quarter over the first period of 2021. The biggest decline in April was in the higher educational course materials segment, where sales tumbled 43.2% in the month.

Sales of adult books fell 10.9% in April compared with the previous year, while sales of children’s/young adult books declined 2.6%. In adult books, sales of all print formats had declines, with hardcover and mass market paperback sales both falling by about 22%, while trade paperback sales dropped a modest 3.9%. Digital audiobook sales rose 6.2%, but e-book sales fell 6.6%.

In children’s/YA, April hardcover sales fell 5% and paperback sales were flat. E-book sales dropped 17.6%.

Sales of religion books declined 13.1% in April with hardcover and paperback sales falling by double digits.

Sales of professional books dipped 2.4% in April and sales from university presses fell 23% in the month from last April.