Data from the American Association of Publishers indicates that sales of books fell in the first half of this year. Revenue was down  3.4% compared with the same period in 2015. But it seemed the good Lord (0r his faithful reading public) was still listening as religious presses saw their sales bounce by over 10%.

While revenue for Trade Books grew 6.7% in June, the gains were not enough to counter declines from earlier in the year, and the overall category declined 1.1% in the first half of 2016.

“After a tough first quarter – with trade sales down 7.4% from the prior year – second quarter sales have bounced back with 4.6% growth. Sales of adult, children’s and religious books all increased in the second quarter due to a mix of factors including movie tie-ins, a diversity of titles from small and midsize presses, and religious presses recovering from a tough 2015,” said Tom Allen President and CEO of AAP.

Publishers’ book sales for June 2016 in all tracked categories were $1.46 billion, down 4.7% from June 2015.
In the first half of 2016, compared to the first half of 2015, trade sales were down 1.1% to $3.03 billion:

  • Adult Books had $2.11 billion in sales, down 2.8%
  • Childrens/YA Books had $689.3 million in sales, up 0.9%
  • Religious Presses had $222.4 million in sales, up by 10.4%

The figures showed a big fall for e-books. Paperback and audio recovered after years of poor sales.

  • Paperback books grew 8.8% to $1.01 billion
  • Downloaded audio grew 32.3% to $126.7 million
  • Hardback books grew 0.9% $989.7 million
  • eBooks were down 20.0% to $579.5 million