From the Association of American Publishers:
Publishers’ book sales for the first quarter of the year (Jan – March 2015) were down 6.6% for the year to date at $2.22 billion compared to $2.38 billion for the first quarter in 2014. Bright spots within the quarter were found in Trade — specifically Adult Books — and Professional Books.
These numbers include sales for all tracked categories (Trade -fiction/non-fiction, K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses). The monthly statistics (#AAPStats) are tracked by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and include sales from more than 1,200 publishers.
Though sales in Trade Books for the quarter were $1.50 billion, down by 2.2% from the same quarter in 2014, the category saw some relief in March with a growth of 1.9%. Much of this can be attributed to Adult Books, which had a good month in March. The category was up 12.0% for the month, and 3.4% for the first quarter. Within Adult Books, there was double-digit growth in downloaded audio, physical audio and paperback book formats.
Children’s & Young Adults and Religious presses both declined this quarter, down 15.9% and 5.5% respectively.
Downloaded audio continued its hot growth streak, with a 33.6% improvement over the same quarter last year. Physical audio, mass market, paperback and board book formats all experienced growth this quarter as well, while hardback and eBook formats declined.
Revenues for Higher Education materials and PreK-12 educational materials were down 29.0% and 7.1% compared to last quarter.
Professional and Scholarly Publishing
Professional Publishing, which includes business, medical, law, scientific and technical books and journals, had a good start to the year. Sales were up 16.7% compared to the same quarter in 2014. However, University Presses were down 6.7%.
* NOTE: Figures represent publishers’ net revenue for the U.S. (i.e. what publishers sell to bookstores, direct to consumer, online venues, etc.), and are not retailer/consumer sales figures.