Total publishing industry sales rose by 6.6% in March over a year ago at the 1,240 companies that report results to AAP’s StatShot program—enough to give a 3.2% bump in sales for the first quarter of 2023.

Sales of adult books rose have risen 3.5% in the year to date, helped along by a 6.5% jump in sales in that category in March, as returns fell 14.7% in the month. (AAP measures net sales by subtracting returns from gross sales.) The digital audio and e-book categories had the biggest jumps in the segment last month, at 13.4% and 15.4%, respectively; digital audio sales surged 18.7% in the quarter. Hardcover sales of adult books slipped 0.5% in the quarter, but trade paperback sales went up 4.8%.

Children's and young adult sales, meanwhile, have been struggling. An 11.5% drop in March, following drops of 2.3% in January and 0.6% in February, brought quarterly sales for the segment down to 4.6% less than last year at the end of the comparable period in 2022. Hardcover sales in the segment have fallen 7.6% to date this year, accounting for the majority of the losses.

Sales of religious books have improved this year, rising 2.3% last month and 3.1% for the quarter. University presses, on the other hand, were down 4.6% in the month and 3.6% for the quarter. Sales of professional books fell 2.3% in the quarter despite a 7.9% rally in March.