US book sales fell by 8.4% in March compared to the same period last year, although adult titles saw a 3.5% upswing.
New York went into lockdown on 22nd March.
According to an Association of American Publishers StatShot, total sales across all categories fell to $667m in March. Year-to-date sales were flat with an increase of 0.3%, reaching $2.6bn for the first three months of 2020.
Trade sales were up 0.8% compared to March 2019, hitting $560m, and increased 2.6% on a year-to-date basis.
Downloaded audio continued to grow with a 15.1% increase on March 2019, reaching $50m. Children’s audiobooks saw a 46.6% jump on the previous year. E-book revenues declined 4.8% compared to March 2019, reaching a total of $74m.
But steep declines came in the education sector where K-12 materials plunged 50.6% to $54m compared to last March of last year while year-to-date sales were down 24%. Professional books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, declined 21.1% for the month.
The AAP StatShot data is tracked monthly and includes revenue from around 1,360 publishers.