September was not a particularly good month for the publishing industry with steep declines posted by the K-12 instructional materials, higher education course materials, and professional books segments only partially offset by small gains in the adult books and university press categories, according to AAP’s StatShot report. Within adult books, e-book sales rose 30.6% in the month, to $103.9 million, while hardcover sales increased 3.1%. Sales of trade and mass market paperbacks fell in the month, but audiobook sales increased in both the physical and downloadable categories at the houses that report to AAP.
Sales slipped 4.2% in the children’s and young adult segment in September, with sales declines in hardcover and paperback offsetting a 44.4% increase in e-book sales.
For the first nine months of 2012, adult books sales were up 9.0% at companies that report to AAP, driven by a 36.2% increase in e-book sales, to $961.1 million. Trade paperback sales, helped by the Fifty Shades blockbuster, were up 7.8%, to $1.14 billion. Sales of hardcovers and mass market paperbacks were down 1.5%, and 16.1%, respectively. In the children’s/young adult category, nine month sales were up 23.9% with e-book sales ahead 177% and hardcovers up 24%. The K-12 segment is certainly headed for a poor year with sales off 18.8% for the first nine months of 2012.
Figures are based on reports from 1,186 publishers.