View By
  • Date(descending)
  • Date(ascending)
  • The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released the StatShot Annual report for Calendar Year 2019, estimating that the U.S. book publishing industry generated $25.93 billion in annual revenue, up by 1.1% as compared to 2018. In terms of units the report estimates that 2.76 billion units were sold. All figures represent publishers’ net revenue from tracked categories (trade, higher education course materials, PreK-12 instructional materials, professional books, and university press), in all formats, from all distribution channels. 

    2019 StatShot Annual Report Highlights:

    Overall publishing industry revenue was essentially flat, coming in at $25.93 billion for the year, which was a 1.1% increase as compared to $25.63 billion in 2018.

    For the third consecutive year, publisher sales to online retail channels exceeded sales to physical retail channels, with the margin continuing to grow wider:

    • Online Retail: sales to online retail were $8.22 billion. Over the last five years, publisher sales to online retail channels have grown by nearly 20%.
    • Physical Retail: sales to physical retailwere $5.86 billion. Over the past five years publisher sales to physical retailers have decreased by 35.9%.

    In terms of format, print continued to dominate the industry:

    • Overall: nearly half (47.6%) of all revenue from four print formats: hardback, board book, paperback, and mass market.
    • For trade (consumer books): print formats represented 74.7% of revenue, and while within that percentage hardback units represented just 24.2% of the total trade units sold in 2019, they generated 36.0% of total trade revenue.

    eBooks declined while downloaded audio continued to grow:

    • eBooks: Industry revenue from eBooks declined 4.9% in 2019to $1.94 billion and is down 30.8% for the five-year period of 2015-2019. eBook units slightly decreased by 2.6% to 335.7 million since 2018.
    • Downloaded audio: Downloaded audio remains the fastest growing digital revenue segment in the industry, generating $1.31 billion in revenue in 2019, a 15.9% increase over 2018. In the five-year period from 2015-2019, downloaded audio grew a total of 143.8%.


    The StatShot Annual Report is based on data prepared by Management Practice Inc. (MPI), AAP’s statistics partner, and offers a valuable, financial overview of the book publishing industry that is more than the sum of AAP’s monthly statistics analyses.

    StatShot Annual employs a unique methodology that combines annual data submitted by publishers and distributors, along with market modeling, to estimate the total volume of the U.S. publishing industry.  Additionally, StatShot Annual reports estimated revenue and unit sales in the following market segments:  trade (consumer books), higher education, PreK-12, professional, and university presses. AAP (or its predecessor) has provided this service in a variety of forms since 1947.  Participants are listed at the end of this Report. MPI states the results of the survey are accurate at a 95% confidence level, plus or minus 5 percentage points.  Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.

    About AAP

    AAP | The Association of American Publishers represents the leading book, journal, and education publishers in the United States on matters of law and policy, advocating for outcomes that incentivize the publication of creative expression, professional content, and learning solutions. As essential participants in local markets and the global economy, our members invest in and inspire the exchange of ideas, transforming the world we live in one word at a time. Find us online at or on Twitter and Instagram at @AmericanPublish.

  • The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for May 2020 reflecting reported revenue for all tracked categories, including Trade (consumer publications), K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses.

    Total revenues across all categories for May 2020 were approximately $1.0 billion, a decline of 12.1% as compared to May 2019. Year-to-date sales were $4.3 billion, a decline of 4.5% as compared to the same period last year.

    Trade (Consumer Book) Revenues:

    Trade sales were down 7.9% year-over-year, coming in at $635.8 million. Year-to-date (Jan-May 2020) Trade sales were $2.8 billion, a decline of 1.5%, as compared to the same period in 2019.

    Physical paper formats in the Trade (consumer publications) category saw declines during the month, with Hardback revenues coming in at $212.1 million, a decline of 18.5%; Paperback revenues were $201.1 million, a fall of 16.9%; and Mass Market was $22.6 million, down 0.6%. On a year-to-date basis, Hardback revenues were $967.9 million, down 6.7%; Paperbacks were $924.5 million, down 3.0%; and Mass Market was $83.9 million, a decline of 1.2% as compared to the first five months of 2019.

    eBook and Downloaded Audio revenues were both bright spots in May, and on a year-to-date basis:

    eBook revenues were up 39.2% for the month as compared to May 2019 for a total of $113.0 million. On a year-to-date basis, eBooks were up 7.3%, coming in at $435.4 million for the first five months of 2020.

    Downloaded Audio revenues saw a 22.0% increase as compared to May of last year, reaching $54.2 million in revenue. On a year-to-date basis, Downloaded Audio was up 15.8% as compared to the first five months of 2019, with a total of $262.5 million for the year so far. The Downloaded Audio format has seen continuous growth every month since 2012. Notably, Downloaded Audio revenues in the Children’s and YA Books category saw a strong 69.4% year-over-year increase in May to $5.4 million, lifting the total year-to-date Downloaded Audio revenues in the category by 24.7% to $23.7 million.

    Religious Presses

    Religious press revenues were up 7.0% year-over-year in May, coming in at $58.5 million, but down 6.6% on a year-to-date basis, with revenues of $264.5 million for the first five months of the year.


    Year-to-date revenues were down 9.9%, coming in at $1.5 billion. Revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were up 19.4% to $130.0 million for the month. On a year-to-date basis, Higher Education Course Materials revenues were up 8.9%, reaching $771.5 million.

    PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were $221.7 million, a drop of 32.5% compared to May of last year, and year-to-date revenues in the category were $489.5 million, a decline of 30.7% as compared to the first five months of 2020.

    Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, declined 3.7% for the month, generating $53.1 million in revenue. The category saw a decline of 3.5% year-to-date, with $194.3 million in revenue during the first five months.

    University Presses declined 5.4% as compared to May of 2019, bringing in $3.1 million in revenue. On a year-to-date basis, University Presses declined 10.1%, bringing in $16.8 million for the first five months of 2020.

    # # #

    AAP’s StatShot

    Publisher net revenue, including sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc., is tracked monthly by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and includes revenue from about 1,360 publishers, with participation subject to change over time.

    StatShot reports are designed to give an up-to-date snapshot of the publishing industry using the best data currently available. The reports reflect participants’ most recent reported revenue for current and previous periods, enabling readers to compare revenue on a year-to-year basis within a given StatShot report.

    It is not, however, possible to make apples-to-apples comparisons to StatShot reports issued in previous years because: a) The number of StatShot participants fluctuates over time, with the pool of participants growing or shrinking in each report and b) It is a common accounting practices for businesses, including publishers, to restate revenue numbers based on updated information. If, for example, a business learns that its revenues were greater in a given year than its reports indicated, it will restate the revenues in subsequent reports, providing information that is more up-to-date and accurate.

  • The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Association of PEN American Center, Inc. in filing an amicus brief in the case of Robert S. Trump v. Mary L. Trump and Simon & Schuster, asking the Court to summarily reject the request of Robert S. Trump to block further publication and dissemination of Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, authored by Mary L. Trump, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and niece of President Donald J. Trump.

    The brief argues that “The Supreme Court has, time and again, uniformly made clear the First Amendment’s fundamental role in protecting the publication and dissemination of speech—especially speech critical of government officials—from prior restraint,”and that enforcement of a confidentiality agreement between private parties implicates the First Amendment and its “prior restraint” doctrine, stating that “The First Amendment imposes limitations on the relief a court may grant in disputes between private parties because the Court’s relief is itself state action triggering First Amendment protection.”

    The brief can be found here.

  • Independent Research from Student Watch and Student Monitor Unveiled in New Reports, Video

    Average student spending on college textbooks and digital course materials has steadily declined in recent years, according to new data unveiled today from Student Watch, which is funded by the National Association of College Stores Foundation, and Student Monitor, an independent research firm. 

    In its new annual report, Student Watch reports a decline in student spending on course materials of 35 percent over the past six years, while Student Monitor’s semi-annual report similarly indicates a 39 percent decline over the same time period.

    “Students are actually spending less on college course materials than we have seen them spend before,” commented Brittany Conley, Research Analyst, On Campus Research for the National Association of College Stores (NACS). “We saw that students spent about $413 across the academic year on course materials. Ten years ago, that number was closer to $700.”

    “Students’ out of pocket spending for learning materials and textbooks continues to decline year after year after year,” commented Eric Weil, Managing Partner, Student Monitor LLC. 

    The new data on the multi-year decline in student spending is highlighted in a video interview with representatives from the two research organizations, which can be seen here.

    Student Monitor Report

    Student Monitor’s LIFESTYLE & MEDIA report found that student spending on course materials went from an average of $691 for the 2014-2015 academic year to $422 for the 2019-2020 school year, a decline of 39 percent over a six-year period. The 2019-2020 figure represents a 14 percent decline as compared to the average student spend of $492 during the 2018-2019 academic year.

    Student Watch Survey

    The most recent Student Watch survey indicated that course material spending dropped from $638 for the 2014-2015 academic year to $413 for the 2019-2020 academic year, a decline of 35 percent over the last six years. The latest figure represents a 0.5 percent decline as compared to the average student spend of $415 during the 2018-2019 academic year. 


    The 2020 Student Watch survey involved more than 14,000 students across 35 institutions. 

    The Student Monitor findings are the result of hour-long, one-on-one, on campus intercept interviews conducted among 1,202 four-year, full time undergraduates attending 93 representative colleges and universities. 

    “Numbers are going to differ in studies like these just based on general methodology,” Student Watch’s Conley said.  “What you really want to look at are things like overall trends in where the data's going, what it looks like. And in the case of Student Watch and Student Monitor, we're seeing the overall trends be consistent. Both of us are reporting a decline in course material spending, which is what you really want to look at when you're comparing the two and seeing if they're telling the same story.”


    Education publishers understand that students struggle with the overall cost of college and have for years worked to lower the cost of the high-quality course materials they produce while creating increasingly innovative options to access. There is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ solution for college course materials that cover a vast diversity of subject areas, but some publishers have addressed affordability by launching online learning solutions such as Inclusive Access, which provide students with discounted materials on the first day of class. Other options, including subscription models, provide unlimited access to a range of textbooks, online homework access codes and study guides all for one price.

    “Students have at least 10 different options or combination of options when it comes to deciding what textbooks or course materials they are going to acquire,” said Student Monitor’s Weil. “They can purchase a new printed textbook, a used printed textbook. They can rent a textbook instead of purchasing a printed textbook. They can acquire an e-Textbook for either limited or unlimited use. They can take advantage of one of these new subscription programs providing unlimited access to print and digital for either a single term or the entire academic year for a flat subscription price. From a student’s perspective, nothing could be more convenient than a subscription model that provides you everything that you need at a discounted price.”

    “Inclusive Access is a new concept, a new system,” Weil continued.  “It offers a lot of promise, a lot of benefits to all concerned. From a student's perspective, what happens is that the student receives all of their digital materials. They're billed for those materials either through whatever financial aid they may be receiving or through their student account and the access to those materials are actually provided before the first day of class. This is really convenient, really adds to the value of the course from an instructors' perspective. It's just an exciting new approach that is more convenient for the student, saves money for the student, increases the value of their tuition dollar. It just makes perfect sense.”

    Conley added, “We're really just seeing a large number of things being offered in the course material space. They're all playing a part in lowering that overall cost that students end up having to pay. If we're talking about what's prevalent among all course material options, rentals is something that we see more prevalent. This year, around 40 percent of students had rented at least one course material over the semester or academic term.”

    Students continue to embrace a wide range of options for acquiring their course materials: according to the Student Monitor report, the $422 in average student spending during the 2019-2020 school year included  $174 for new, printed textbooks; $95 for used, printed textbooks; $67 for rented, printed textbooks; $39 for eTextbooks for unlimited use; and $24 for eTextbooks for limited time use.

    Student Watch reports that during the 2019-2020 school year, students embraced a wide range of options, mixing print, digital, rental and purchase. 48 percent preferred some type of print book, while 21 percent of students preferred digital-only content. During the year, 80 percent of students purchased course materials during the year, and 44 percent rented course materials.

    # # #

  • The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Dow Jones, The New York Times and The Washington Post in filing an amicus brief in United States v. Bolton, arguing that the Administration’s request to block Simon & Schuster, booksellers and distributors from publishing and distributing Bolton’s book is an unprecedented and unconstitutional prior restraint. The brief asks the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to deny the Government’s request.

    The brief argues that by suing only Bolton, but seeking a broad injunction against Simon & Schuster and countless other non-parties to the case, the Government is attempting an end-run around the seminal Pentagon Papers Supreme Court case in order to censor core First Amendment-protected speech.

    “The Government could not have sued Simon & Schuster in this case directly, and served it with injunction papers, without running straight into the legacy of the Pentagon Papers case and the considerable Supreme Court precedent from both before and after that decision that make clear the First Amendment protects the publication and dissemination of speech from prior restraint,” stated the brief.

    The brief also notes that the Government’s requested injunction would not remedy any claimed harm from the book’s release, as the book has already been printed, shipped, and reported on by several prominent news outlets.

    The brief can be found here. AAP President and CEO Maria A. Pallante’s comment on the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against John Bolton for the publication of his book The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir is here.

    # # #