Year-end figures from the Association of American Publishers’ StatShot program show a sales decline of 6.4% in 2022 compared to 2021. The figures are based on data from 1,372 publishers who provide the AAP with their sales numbers—a total that was $12.65 billion last year, down from $13.51 billion from reporting publishers in 2021.

Sales were down in all publishing categories, including the two trade segments. Sales of adult book fell 6.4%, and sales in the children’s/young adult category dropped 5.7%.

In other categories, sales of religion books were down 6.1%, and sales of professional books declined 5.5%. Higher educational course materials sales dropped 10.3%, and sales of university presses, by far the smallest segment, fell 10.3%. The sales report for K-12 instructional materials has been delayed.


The decline in adult book sales was largely due to a 16.2% drop in hardcover sales offsetting a 3.7% increase in sales of trade paperbacks. From reporting publishers, trade paperback sales were $1.97 billion, topping hardcover revenue of $1.86 billion; in 2021, hardcover sales were $2.22 billion, and trade paperback sales were $1.90 billion. Mass market paperback sales fell 25.8% in the year, to $179 million. With declines in hardcover and mass market, print sales fell 8% from 2021, and the format’s share of sales dropped to 69.6%, from 70.9% in 2021.

On the digital side, downloadable audiobook sales rose 7.9%, while sales of e-books fell 5.5%. Digital audio accounted for 12.6% of total sales in 2022, up from 10.9% in 2021, while e-books’ market share, with a sales decline that was less than that of print sales, rose to 14.7%, from 14.5%.


A 6.9% decline in print sales was the primary reason for the decline in sales in the children’s/YA category. Hardcover sales fell 12.5% in the year, while sales of paperbacks slipped 1.9%, and special binding sales dropped 8.1%. Print sales, which have always been more important in the children’s/YA segment than in adult books, had an 87.9% share of revenue in 2022, down from 89% in 2021. Sales of downloadable audio fell 1.6%, much slower than print, while e-book sales dropped 12.2%.

Later this year, AAP will release an additional sales report that includes estimates for publishers who do not report revenue to the association.