The Association of American Publishers confirmed today that the major publishers are feeling the first stings of the mad rush back to agency pricing.
Trade sales (for the 1,200 odd publishers participating in the monthly report) were down 2.2% from the same quarter in 2014, to $1.49 billion. The adult segment rose 3.4%, to $1.05 billion, while the YA/kids segment dropped 15.9%, to $321.1 million. The religious segment dropped 5.5%, to $124.4 million.
In terms of formats, hardback sales dropped 6.7%, to $463 million. Paperback sales rose 8.6%, to $443 million, and ebooks fell 7.5%, to $374 million. Downloaded audiobooks continued its growth streak, with a 33.6% increase over the same quarter last year. Physical audio, mass market, paperback and board book formats all experienced growth this quarter as well.
The AAP also reported today that total publisher revenues were down 6.6% in the first quarter at $2.22 billion, compared to $2.38 billion for the first quarter in 2014. That figure includes sales for all tracked categories (Trade, K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses).
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