Total net book sales November 2019 in the U.S. fell 23.9%, to $964.6 million, compared to November 2018, representing sales of 1,361 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers. For the first 11 months of the year, total net book sales rose 0.9%, to $13.5 billion.
The AAP attributed the losses in November to "unusually high revenue totals for the month of November 2018." And in fact, net trade sales in November 2018 did rise 15.3% over November 2017, a striking jump, which came in large part because of big gains in trade sales. In November 2018, when Becoming by Michelle Obama was released, adult hardcover sales were up 36.3%, and children's/YA categories were all up between 13.2% and 23.3%.
By contrast, in November 2019 the only categories with positive results were downloaded audio, up 24.1%, and university press e-books and paperbacks, up 2.2% and 1.6%, respectively.
Although K-12 was off 2.7%, the AAP noted that it is up 24.7%, to $3.1 million, for the first 11 months of 2019. Children's/YA is also up 5.2%, to $2 billion, for the year to date. Trade revenues overall for the first 11 months were off 0.8%, to $7.2 billion.