Publishing industry sales couldn't keep up the pace in April, falling 7.6% after a solid first three months at publishers that report to the StatShot program at the Association of American Publishers. All segments of the industry saw declines save for higher education course materials, where sales rose 32.8%.

Despite a 31.1% drop in returns, sales of adult books plummeted 12.8% in the month, with hardcover sales down 11.1% and trade paperback a whopping 20.2%. (AAP measures net sales by subtracting returns from gross sales.) Mass market sales were down 10.1%, and e-book sales fell 17.1%. Digital audio sales rose 5.8% in the month.

Books in the children's/YA category also took a tumble, with a 9.0% drop in sales despite an 8.4% drop in returns. Hardcover and paperback sales dropped 5.4% and 10.6%, respectively, and board books dropped 2.8%. E-book sales in the category rose 6.3%.

University presses saw a 12.0% drop in the month, and sales at religious presses dropped 5.9% despite an 18.4% drop in returns. Sales of professional books declined 1.9%.

Through April, total industry sales from all respondents were up 0.9% over 2022 led by a 12.4% increase in the higher education category. Sales of adult book were down 0.4% and children's/YA category sales fell 6.3%.