Sales of adult books were 9.8% lower in July 2017 than in July 2016, and sales in the children’s/young adult segment fell 36.8%, according to figures released by the Association of American Publishers as part of its StatShot program. The plunge in children’s/YA sales was due to the release last July of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was a huge hit. The publication of Potter had the greatest impact on the children’s/YA hardcover format, where sales were 61.1% this July than the year before. Despite the tough comparison, sales in the first seven months of 2017 in the children’s/YA category were only down 3.5% from the same period in 2016. In the adult books segment, mass market paperback and physical audio had declines 26.3% and 41.7%, respectively. Only sales of downloadable audio had an increase in the month. But even with the soft July, sales in the adult segment for the first seven months of 2017 were 1.1% higher than in the same period the year before. For the 1,204 publishers who report data to AAP, July sales were down 11.7%, but year-to-date sales were up 0.2%.

Category Change July YTD Adult Hard -10.4% 10.3% Adult Paper -8.8% -1.0% Mass Market -26.3% -15.7% Physical Audio -41.7% -5.4% Audio Download 21.6% 25.0% Adult E-book -8.3% -4.8% Children’s/YA -36.8% -3.5% Religious Presses 4.4% -2.2% Professional -6.2% -1.2% K–12 Materials -8.0% 0.1% Higher Ed. -10.7% 1.6% University Presses -0.2% 2.1%