Religious book sales decline

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According to Publisher’s Weekly:

Sales of adult trade books rose 3.4% in the first quarter of 2017 over the comparable period in 2016, according to the latest figures released by the Association of American Publishers’ StatShot program. Within adult trade, hardcover sales jumped 18.1% in the quarter, offsetting declines in the paperback formats. Downloadable audio sales rose 23.1% in the quarter, but

e-book sales continued to drop, falling 4.5%. Sales in the children’s/YA category fell 3.2% in the first quarter. The major factor driving down sales was weak demand for paperbacks. Sales in the format fell 14.2%, offsetting a 14.6% sales gain by board books. The higher-educational course materials segment, which had a large sales decline in 2016, experienced the largest gain in the 2017 first quarter, with sales up 24.3%.The area with the most significant decline was religious publishing, where sales dropped 7.4%. The StatShot figures are compiled from 1,202 publishers that report to the AAP. Overall sales for reporting publishers were up 4.9% in the first quarter of 2017 over 2016.

A couple of interesting notes:

  1. Sales of e-books continues to decline. Could it be that readers have decided that the convenience of electronic reading is overcome by the tactile experience of holding a book?
  2. Religious books have declined. It’s hard to know exactly why this is. From my perspective IVP is publishing some of the best books we’ve ever published. I’m really confident about our sales even as we recently celebrated surpassing a major milestone for revenue in 2016-2017!

 

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