With sales in the adult books and children’s/young adult categories falling 16.4% and 9.9%, respectively, total industry sales dropped 9.3% in October from a year ago for the 1,370 publishers that report results to AAP’s StatShot program.
With the exception of digital audiobooks, which rose 16.4%, sales of all formats fell in the month in the adult book segment. High returns were a key factor in driving down print sales, which fell 20.6% for hardcovers and 13.3% for trade paperback. (AAP calculates net sales by subtracting returns from gross sales.) Sales of mass market paperbacks were nearly nonexistent in October for the reporting publishers, falling 66.7%, to $6.9 million, from a year ago.
Returns were also high in the children’s/young adult category, with hardcover returns up 27.3% and paperback returns increasing 29%. As a result, net sales fell 12.8% in the month for hardcovers and 14.4% for paperbacks. Both downloadable audio and e-book sales were up in the month, rising 12.9% and 39.9%, respectively.
Sales were also down in the religious category, falling 6.1%, and at university presses, where sales dropped 11.6%. Sales of educational course materials had a good October, rising 19.4%, and sales of professional books increased 9.6%.
For the first 10 months of 2022, industry sales were down 5.1% from the comparable period in 2021. Sales of adult books fell 5.5% and children’s/YA segment sales decline 3.8%.