Adult books 'a bright spot' in latest AAP revenue stats

Adult books 'a bright spot' in latest AAP revenue stats

The latest report from the Association of American Publishers (AAP) has revealed adult book revenues in the US shot up 2.9% for the first three quarters of 2015 - and up more than 7% in September - while children's and YA takings for the period dipped slightly.

The data is based on information provided by 1,200 publishers, including all of the largest trade publishers, as well as publishers represented by the largest distribution groups.

While revenues declined 2.0% across all categories for the first three quarters of the year, adult books, refered to as "a bright spot", took $665m in net shipments for September alone, up $45.5m. The category grew to $3.5bn from January to September 2015, compared with $3.4bn in the same timeframe in 2014. And adult books, as a category, showed growth for every month in 2015, with the exception of February, according to the AAP stats. 

Downloaded audio attributed to the largest growth of all book formats within the adult category, up 41.5%, while paperback adult books grew 16%. It also registered gains across hardbacks (up $8.6m in September), but not in audio, which fell 7.7% in September.

Reporting a 11.1% decrease in e-books overall between January and September 2015, most of the decline could be attributed to Children's and YA books (44.8%).

Children's and YA titles were just below flat for the period, with revenue within the category declining to $1.1bn through September 2015 from $1.2bn in 2014. The AAP reported this the impact of "tough competition" against 2014 blockbuster titles. 

“Adult books are leading the way so far this year for growth in the trade category. This is a stark contrast to the tremendous growth last year in Children and Young Adult books,” said Tina Jordan, v.p. at the Association of American Publishers.