Wednesday, August 28, 2013

AAP Trade Sales Fell 12 Percent in April; eBooks Actually Dropped 13.5 Percent

Publishers Lunch

The AAP released their Stat Shot sales data for April, collected from approximately 1,200 publishers. With difficult comparisons to a year ago, when Hunger Games was still hot and the Fifty Shades series was just taking off for Vintage, the numbers show declines across the board.

Overall trade sales of $490 million were down 12 percent from the previous year. The number that will draw the most remarks is the ebook sales total for the month of $120.5 million, down 13.5 percent compared to 2012, a rare decline for that closely-watched category. But a closer look shows how the drops are directly attributable to the missing hits from 2012.

In adult books, hardcover sales of $127 million were almost $3 million higher, and ebook sales of $106.5 million were up $7 million -- but that was more than made up for by a $23 million decline in trade paperbacks. April 2012 is when Vintage started shipping their editions of Fifty Shades, and the gross trade paperback shipments for April 2013 were $19 million lower than a year ago.

In children's books, ebook sales of $14 million were $26 million lower than a year ago with the Hunger Games titles, and hardcover sales also fell a lot (by $35.6 million) to $41 million for the month. 

Other news:

Scholastic is celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the US release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone with their re-release of all seven trade paperbacks with new jacket art by Kazu Kibuishi. GMA released a short interview clip with author JK Rowling in which she indicates Dumbledore is "the one I miss the most."
Scholastic says there are over 150 million Potter books in print in the US, and indicates the series has sold 450 million copies worldwide.

Australia's Hardie Grant is purchasing UK-based illustrated books publisher Quadrille, on undisclosed terms. Hardie Grant, which maintains a small staff of its own in the UK, has distributed Quadrille in Australia. Hardie Grant founder Sandy Grant says, "We have worked with Quadrille since we first started, we admire their creative publishing, and their amazing list of books and stationery, and we are very happy to make this acquisition to expand our business in the UK and beyond." The Bookseller reports that Quadrille's sales have been  £1.7 million so far in 2013.

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