AAP’s StatShot for October

From Publishing Perspectives:

A big jump of 20.9 percent to US$317.7 million in the US children’s and young adult books sector pushes the Association of American Publishers‘ (AAP) new StatShot report for October to cite a 3.6-percent rise in the industry, year over year.

At Publishers Weekly, Jim Milliot is attributing this to “the performance of Wrecking Ball“—Jeff Kinney’s 14th book in his world-famous Diary of a Wimpy Kid series from Abrams. Kinney’s show of force, Milliot writes, “helped lift sales of hardcovers, where sales rose 29.3 percent over October 2018. Sales of paperbacks increased 21.7 percent. For the first 10 months of 2019, sales in the children/young adult segment were up 9.9 percent over the comparable period of 2018.”

By contrast, adult books made a 3.7-percent retreat in October, year over year, and it’s in mass market paperbacks that the market saw its most precipitous dive, the format dropping 37.3 percent, year over year.

. . . .

In terms of format, the association offers several newly devised graphics, and reports, “Physical paper formats continued dominate the trade category, accounting for $751.0 million, or 80.0 percent of the category’s $938.7 million in revenue for the month.

. . . .

Although downloaded audio increased 15.1 percent to $49.million for October year over year—and has had a remarkable history of “at least some growth every month since AAP began tracking it in 2012″—the above chart from the AAP shows the format in October was accounting for only 5.3 percent of the overall market. Physical audio, of course, shows up at a scant 0.5 percent of the whole.

This isn’t a fact that should in any way diminish the industry’s pleasure and interest in audio’s rise but it can help to keep the contextual point in place. For all the energy behind growth in the downloaded format and all the gemütlich celebration of its strides and quality output, audio still is limited in its reach by comparison to hardcovers’ dominance at 49 percent, paperbacks’ stance at 27 percent, and even ebooks’ 8.5 percent. And surrounded not only by podcasts and other audio offerings but also by the more visually dependent attractions of downloaded digital work, it’s not illogical to keep a sharp eye on the growth curve over time.

. . . .

FormatOctober 2019October 2018Percent Change
Board Book$21.1$20.72.0%
Mass Market$20.8$33.2-37.3%
Physical Audio$4.4$5.9-24.7%
Downloaded Audio$49.6$43.115.1%
Total Trade$938.7$909.53.2%

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives