The Association of American Publishers has released its monthly statistics on book sales, and its members are reporting an 11 percent decline for the month of March—but say sales are still up 1.3 percent for the first three months of 2008.
Adult hardcover sales dropped by nearly 26 percent for the month, and even mass market paperbacks fell by nearly 11 percent, though trade paperbacks were up 6.2 percent. Kids’ books fared better: hardcovers up 2.4 percent and paperbacks up just over 9 percent. And though audiobook sales plummeted by 44 percent compared to March ’07, e-book sales rose by just under 59 percent—and are up 35.7 percent for the first quarter. Maybe we’ve found their market function: keeping hope alive.