US trade sales up 3.4% in April

US trade sales up 3.4% in April

Sales of trade books increased 3.4% in the US in April, although overall publisher revenues were down 7%, according to the Association of the American Publishers.

Trade sales totalled $534.7m (£412.9m) during the month, up 3.4% from April 2015. Children’s/YA and religious titles showed the biggest increases, with sales up 12.8% and 13.7% respectively, and trade sales of adult books were flat at $383.3m ($296m).

However, overall publisher book sales fell 7% in April 2016 from April last year to $729.6m ($563.5m), and year-to-date sales were down 4.3% to $2.85bn (£2.2bn) versus the same four months in 2015.

Sales of educational materials were down more than 3%, whilst revenues from professional publishing, including business, medical, law, scientific and technical books, fell 9%.

In terms of format trends, paperbacks saw the biggest growth in April (21.5%), followed by downloaded audiobooks (20.4%) then hardbacks (2.6%). Sales of e-books fell 22.7%. The AAP statistics only measure sales of of titles from publishing houses and not self-published books and e-books.

In July, AAP said the print book is “here to stay” after revealing that US trade publishers' print sales grew 2.3% in 2015 to $15.83bn (£12.22bn) in revenue.