What a difference a year makes. In October, total net book sales in the U.S. rose 27.6%, to $1.164 billion, compared to the same period in 2016, representing sales of 1,204 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers. For the first 10 months of the year, total net book sales were up 1.7%, to $12.441 billion.
Many categories had striking double-digit gains in October, possibly because the previous October was the height of the last presidential election, when many people were distracted by the campaign.
In October trade book sales rose 16.5% and were up 1.6% through 2017. Among the fastest-growing formats were downloaded audio, up 41.4%, and hardcover books, up 25.1%. E-books declined in all categories except religious and university press.
Sales by category in October 2017 compared to October 2016: