Following a July slump, book sales were up 8.5% in August at the 1,233 publishers that supply data to the Association of American Publishers’ StatShot program. The month saw sales increases across all categories over the comparable period last year, and returns were down significantly, by 19.7%.

Adult book sales were up 7.6%, led by a 19.4% jump in hardcover sales. Sales of paperbacks also rose, by 7.6%, and sales physical and digital audiobooks increased by 17.8% and 5.3%, respectively. Sales in the suffering mass market paperback segment fell by 20.3%, following a 31.9% drop last month. Sales of e-books were off 5.4%.

The struggling children's/young adult book sector saw a 3.8% gain in the month, powered by a 15.0% rise in sales of board books and a 7.4% bump in paperback sales. Sales of digital audio and e-books both jumped, by 13.7% and 12.2%, respectively.

Religious presses saw the biggest increase overall, with sales skyrocketing 36.3%, followed by university presses, where sales increased 18.6%. Sales of professional books were up 8.7%, and higher education course material sales were up 7.2%.

Through August, total sales for the publishers that report to AAP rose 0.6%. Sales of adult books are up 1.7% in the year to date, but children's/YA sales are down 6.9%.