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  • Trade (Consumer Book) Revenues up 0.3% in September, and up 13.5% Year to Date

    The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for September 2021 reflecting reported revenue for all tracked categories, including Trade (Consumer Books), K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, and Professional Publishing.

    Total revenues across all categories for September 2021 were up 2.0% as compared to September 2020, coming in at $1.7 billion. Year to date revenues were up 12.4%, at $11.6 billion for the first nine months of the year.

    Trade (Consumer Books) Revenues

    Trade (Consumer Books) sales were up 0.3% in September, coming in at $938.5 million.

    In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of September, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were down 4.4%, coming in at $398.9 million; Paperbacks were up 10.5%, with $298.7 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 20.1% to $16.6 million; and Board Books were up 0.4%, with $23.7 million in revenue. 

    eBook revenues were down 10.8% for the month as compared to September of 2020 for a total of $90.4 million. The Downloaded Audio format was up 7.8% for September, coming in at $64.6 million in revenue. Physical Audio was down 20.4% coming in at $2.1 million.

    Year to date Trade revenues were up 13.5%, at $ 6.6 billion for the first nine months of the year. Hardback revenues were up 15.3%, coming in at $2.4 billion; Paperbacks were up 19.3%, with $2.2 billion in revenue; Mass Market was up 5.9% to $177.5 million; and Board Books were up 11.2%, with $142.8 million in revenue.

    eBook revenues were down 4.8% as compared to the first nine months of 2020 for a total of $808.5 million. The Downloaded Audio format was up 14.6%, coming in at $569.3 million in revenue. Physical Audio was down 4.8% coming in at $16.1 million.

    Religious Presses

    Religious press revenues were up 10.6% in September, coming in at $69.2 million. Hardback revenues were up 19.3% at $41.5 million in revenue, Paperback revenues were down 6.1% at $11.2 million, eBook revenues were up 3.4% at $5.3 million, and Downloaded Audio revenues were down 5.1% at $2.6 million.

    On a year-to date basis, religious press revenues were up 12.6%, at $513.9 million. Hardback revenues were up 16.6% at $311.4 million in revenue, Paperback revenues were up 5.2% at $77.9 million, eBook revenues were down 8.8% at $38.4 million, and Downloaded Audio revenues were up 7.5% at $30.1 million. 

    Education

    During September of 2021 Education revenues were $720.4 billion, up 5.1% compared with September of 2020. Year to date education revenues were $4.6 billion, up 11.5% as compared to the first nine months of 2020.

    Revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were down 8.1% for the month, as compared to September of 2020, coming in at $437.6 million. Year to date Higher Education was down 0.5%, at $2.6 billion.

    PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were up 35.2% for September 2021, at $282.8 million. Year to date PreK-12 revenues were up 32.7%, coming in at $2.0 billion. More in-depth information on PreK-12 Books and Materials Monthly is included in AAP’s PreK-12 monthly report.

    The performance of the Education categories during this month may reflect multiple factors, including rebounding business post-COVID. In addition, the percentage increase between September 2020 and September 2021 reflects the fact that school districts delayed purchases until later in the year during the pandemic.

    Professional Books

    Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were down 10.1% during the month, coming in at $31.3 million. Year to date Professional Books revenues were $291.7 million, up 5.0% as compared to the first nine months of 2020.

  • The Association of American Publishers today announced that it is expanding its public policy portfolio to include industry-wide work in the areas of climate and sustainability, and diversity, equity and inclusion, following a recent vote by the AAP Board of Directors.

    Maria A. Pallante, President and CEO, Association of American Publishers

    "Throughout history, the publishing industry has been instrumental to distributing knowledge and empowering human progress,” said AAP President and CEO Maria A. Pallante. “By focusing AAP on diversity and sustainability challenges, the Board is not only acknowledging the potential impact of change management within its own ranks, but also acknowledging its responsibility to future generations of publishers, authors, readers, and leaders.”

    The renewed focus on AAP’s portfolio and corresponding resources has been led by Brian Napack, President and CEO of Wiley, who was elected Chairman of AAP’s Board in September 2020. Under Mr. Napack, the Board created working groups for both diversity and sustainability, bringing together representatives from across the trade, education, and academic publishing sectors to review best practices and make recommendations for further action.

    Brian Napack, President and CEO of Wiley, and Chairman of AAP’s Board

    "With its broad industry role and global footprint, the AAP is well-positioned to amplify the important work that publishers are doing to advance the critical causes of global sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion,” Chairman Napack commented. “Today’s announcement affirms the publishing industry’s deep commitment to the promotion of a healthier and more equitable world — and the recognition that we must collaborate to achieve maximum impact."

    Next Steps

    Beginning in 2022, AAP will assign new staff to each area, who will work with member companies and partners to facilitate industry-wide information, tools, collaborations, and programming, and advise AAP’s leadership on short and long-term objectives for the publishing ecosystem. The Climate and Sustainability and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion working groups will be converted to committees within the AAP governance structure, opened up to additional participants from the membership, and tasked with advising and contributing to industry objectives for both categories.

    Building on Existing Momentum

    The focus on climate and sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion builds on a number of previous and ongoing efforts.

    In terms of climate and sustainability, AAP’s previous Chairman and longest serving officer John Sargent, former CEO of Macmillan, was instrumental in prioritizing initial Board discussions on sustainability and convincing the industry’s leaders to convert values into action items. In addition, many AAP member houses have already taken steps to limit their impact on the environment and preserve resources by embracing renewable energy, recycling, using fewer resources, reducing waste, and decreasing carbon emissions related to their offices, company operations, manufacturing, and transportation.

    In terms of diversity, equity and inclusion, many AAP houses have created and hired for new executive positions, measured and publicly shared workforce demographics, conducted publishing audits, added diverse publishing imprints, and rolled out best practices implementing DEI principles and cultural sensitivities in content, particularly with regards to nonfiction and educational materials. Throughout the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding racial injustice uprisings across the United States, the publishing industry helped to serve a tremendous reader demand for both fiction and nonfiction titles promoting racial justice and inclusion.

    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 www.publishers.org or on Twitter and Instagram at @AmericanPublish.

  • “In confirming Jonathan Kanter to this critically important post, the Administration and the Congress have further underscored a shared commitment to preventing a handful of dominant online platforms from having an outsized impact on the national economy and the national dialogue.  We look forward to working closely with Mr. Kanter to ensure a fair and competitive online marketplace that respects the rights of all players, including the creative community.”

  • The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today awarded F&G Editores, Guatemala, the 2021 AAP International Freedom to Publish | Jeri Laber Award. Given annually, the award recognizes a publisher outside the United States who has demonstrated courage and fortitude in defending freedom of expression. 

    “In bestowing this award, AAP has long been guided by the principle that if one of us is denied the right to publish, that threat affects us all,” commented Maria A. Pallante, President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers. “We thank Raúl Figueroa Sarti for his extraordinary commitment to authors and readers despite the serious and numerous threats he has had to endure at the helm of F&G Editores.”

    “Raúl Figueroa Sarti and his colleagues at F&G Editores have exercised their freedom to publish not only through periods of active peril but also through the lulls that precede danger’s inevitable return,” said Terry Adams, Digital and Paperback Publisher, Little, Brown and Company, and Chair, AAP Freedom to Publish Committee. “They have endured the cycle of terror and intimidation not for weeks, or years, but decades. It is an honor to recognize their fine work as publishers, as well as their tenacity and bravery, which command the respect of all who value freedom.”

    “I am very grateful to the Association of American Publishers for giving me the Freedom to Publish Award. Beyond an acknowledgment of my publishing work in Guatemala, it seems very relevant that attention is paid internationally to the risks that freedom of expression and publication are experiencing today, both from central government and from the most powerful economic groups of Guatemala that fear their privileges are at risk,” commented Raúl Figueroa Sarti, accepting the award.

    About F&G Editores, Guatemala

    F&G Editores was founded in 1993 by Raúl Figueroa Sarti, who continues to run the house.

    Guatemala emerged 25 years ago from a 36-year armed conflict in which 200,000 individuals, mostly indigenous people, lost their lives, and more than 40,000 are still disappeared. Since then, drug lords, gangs, corrupt politicians, and military officers have created an environment that is highly challenging. 

    Despite significant personal danger, Mr. Figueroa Sarti has chosen to build his publishing house in Guatemala, in the process serving as an activist for a humane civil society in a region torn by war and corruption. 

    As a result of his unrelenting activism while running F&G Editores Mr. Figueroa Sarti has received numerous personal threats over the years, some direct and others veiled. In 2009, he faced false charges as part of a campaign designed to paralyze his publishing operation. He initially received a one-year prison sentence, which was later suspended. He has subsequently been targeted by both the government and far right business groups who have launched a series of smear campaigns falsely alleging financial wrongdoing, among other allegations.

    Since its launch F&G Editores has earned an unquestionable reputation for excellence, publishing some the most important fiction and non-fiction in Central America.

    In 1997, F&G published an edition of the Guatemalan criminal procedure code that immediately became one of the best-selling books in the country, rolling through five editions in a single year. The debut of this volume marked the first time that court decisions and law changes were ever published in Guatemala. From the editorial perspective, the quality of paper, interior design, format, cover design, and binding of this compendium was considered unique in Guatemala.

    Over the course of its existence, F&G Editores has published more than 180 titles, including the works of Guatemala’s Miguel Ángel Asturias, 1967 Nobel Prize for Literature, and texts by other important Guatemalan writers, including a series entitled Miguel Ángel Asturias National Prize Collection for Literature that showcases texts by award-winning authors such as Rodrigo Rey Rosa, Marco Antonio Flores, David Unger, and Arturo Arias.

    F&G Editores has also published numerous non-fiction titles that have put Mr. Figueroa Sarti’s life in jeopardy in Guatemala, including:

    1. Lineage and Racism in Guatemala. Published in 2005, 14 years after its first edition in Costa Rica, this book exposed racism against the Mayan peoples.
    1. State Crime: The Parlacen Case. Published in 2011, this book brought to light the involvement of state security forces in the murder of Salvadoran deputies in Guatemalan territory, and later the murder in prison of the police officers accused of the crimes.
    1. Convicted of Genocide. In 2013 this book revealed that General Ríos Montt was convicted of genocide, a sentence that had been officially concealed by the courts.
    1. From the Barracks. Another Vision of Guatemala. Published in 2017, this book revealed the vision of a progressive military man in the Guatemalan army who denounced the links between the military leadership and the economic elite.
    1. Guatemala: Causes and Origins of the Internal Armed Conflict; Conclusions and Recommendations. Published in 2019, this book includes excerpts from the voluminous report prepared after the signing of the 1996 Peace Accords that ended the 36-year internal war which Guatemalan authorities had tried to conceal.
    1. The Back Courtyard: The Hour of the ComedianPublished in 2019, this book reveals the corrupt regime of former president Jimmy Morales and his links with the powerful economic elite that for decades sponsored war in Guatemala.
    1. Dissent and Discipline. Published in 2021, this non-fiction book exposed methods put into practice to “discipline” businessmen who demonstrated against corruption in Guatemala in 2015 and 2016.

    This year F&G Editores plans to publish 12 books, seven of which are literature and five of which deal with social and political issues in Guatemala. 

    F&G Editores is also among five publishers shortlisted for the International Publishers Association (IPA) 2021 IPA Prix Voltaire, an award that recognizes exemplary courage in upholding the freedom to publish and in providing a platform, through print or digital media, for others to exercise their right to freedom of expression.  The award ceremony for the 2021 Prix Voltaire will take place during the 35th Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara in Mexico at the end of this month (November, 2021).

    About the AAP International Freedom to Publish | Jeri Laber Award:

    The International Freedom to Publish Award, which was established in 2002, recognizes a publisher outside the United States who has demonstrated courage and fortitude in defending freedom of expression. The Award, which includes a cash prize, is named in honor of Jeri Laber, a co-founder of Human Rights Watch and founding member of AAP’s Freedom to Publish Committee. In some instances, the honoree’s particular circumstances may prevent him or her from accepting the award or communicating in person.

    Previous recipients of the award include Bangladesh-based Jagriti Publishing House in 2020; South Africa–based NB Publishers in 2019; and in 2018 Azadeh Parsapour, a London-based publisher of censored Iranian authors.

    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 publishers.org, or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.

  • Association of American Publishers President and CEO Maria A. Pallante released the following statement regarding Senator Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) decision to retire.

    Words cannot convey our gratitude to Senator Patrick Leahy for his devoted public service over the years.  A true statesman, he has been an incredibly wise lawmaker and indispensable leader when it comes to fundamental issues of democracy—including defending free speech at every turn and working vigorously to ensure that the United States protects and supports its publishers and authors.  Like readers everywhere, we will now await Mr. Leahy’s forthcoming memoir,  “The Road Taken,” with great appreciation, and we wish him and his wife Marcelle a long and happy retirement with their family.”