Christian Retailing

AAP: Industry declines, but religious book sales improve Print Email
Written by Taylor Berglund   
Thursday, 28 January 2016 11:42 AM America/New_York

AAP-NewLogoReligious presses improved in September 2015 compared to September 2014, according to the latest available Association of American Publishers’ StatShot report. While total industry sales were down 0.7 percent year over year, religious presses posted a 3.3 percent rise. Religious presses, adult books (up 10.1 percent) and university presses (up 1.9 percent) improved the most this month, while every other category posted a decline relative to September 2014.

The increase continues to be a good sign for Christian retailers, since overall year-to-date religious sales have lagged behind last year’s by 1.5 percent, with $390.1 million in revenue to date in 2015 compared to $395.9 million in 2014. The overall industry has done even worse, declining by 2.0 percent in year-to-date statistics.

The religious press sales increase for September 2015 can be attributed to strong hardcover sales, which got a 7.8 percent boost. Religious e-books continued the slump that began in July, with sales that declined 19.8 percent in September 2015 relative to September 2014.

Religious publishers' e-books have fared poorly for most of 2015 and declined even further this month, down 10.0 percent in year-to-date sales. As was the case the previous two months, the only religious category to see positive year-to-date growth is paperback sales, which has a 2.3 percent increase over 2014 sales.