Sales at the 1,225 publishers that report their revenue to the Association of American Publishers’ StatShot program rose 0.4% in 2023 over 2022, to $12.57 billion, according to preliminary data. The largest increase came in the religious press category, where sales at reporting publishers increased 7.8%, to $819.7 million. Adult trade sales dipped 0.3%, to $5.61 billion, while sales in the children’s/young adult fell 2.6%, to $2.5 billion. Combined sales in the adult and children’s/YA categories were down 1%.

Last year, the AAP reported that sales from publishers who report to StatShot fell 6.4%, though that figure was revised to a 2.6% decline after the AAP’s final sales estimates were released later in the year. The trade sales decline of 1% reported by StatShot this year was less than the 2.6% drop in unit sales of print books in 2023 previously reported by Circana BookScan, and likely reflects the impact of higher book prices offsetting the decline in unit sales. The AAP data also includes digital sales, which were up in the trade categories last year.

In the adult segment, digital audio sales jumped 16%, to $743 million, at reporting companies, and represented 13.2% of sales in the adult category, up from 11.4% in 2022. E-book sales had another year of small declines and dropped 1.4%, to $834 billion, comprising 14.9% of overall adult revenue. Total digital sales accounted for 28.1% of adult sales last year, up from 26.4% in 2022. Hardcover sales rose 1% in the year, largely offsetting the 3.9% decline in trade paperback. Mass market sales all but disappeared in 2023 at reporting publishers, falling 13.5% and accounting for just 2.4% of adult sales.

In the children’s/YA adult category, the 2.6% sales decline was due mainly to a drop in hardcover sales, which fell 4.1%, but the format still accounted for 36.3% of category sales. Paperback sales slipped 0.4% in the year, and represented 44.3% of revenue. Sales of digital audiobooks and e-books both rose in 2023, but still constituted a much smaller share of sales than in the adult category. Digital audio was up 8.8% and represented 3% of sales, while e-book sales increased 20%, comprising 4.7% of sales in the category.

Outside of the trade categories, sales in the higher educational course materials segment rose 3.2% at reporting publishers, to $3.0 billion, while sales of professional books fell 3.9%, to $476 million. University presses had a relatively good year, with sales up 5%.

The AAP will release sales estimates covering all of publishing later this year.