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  • Trade (Consumer Book) Sales Up Nearly 7% in August

    The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for August 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 August 2020 were essentially flat at $1.9 billion, an increase of 0.3% as compared to August 2019. Year-to-date sales were $9.4 billion, a decline of 4.6% as compared to the same period last year.

    Trade (Consumer Book) Revenues

    Trade (Consumer Books) sales were notably up 6.9% year-over-year, coming in at $703.6 million. Year-to-date (January-August 2020) Trade sales were $5.0 billion, an increase of 5.2%, as compared to the first eight months of 2019.

    In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of August, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were up 11.8%, coming in at $259.2 million; Paperbacks were down 1.1%, with $219.7 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 33.7% to $14.7 million; and Board Books were down 22.6%, with $14.5 million in revenue.

    On a year-to-date basis, Hardback revenues were $1.7 billion, up 6.0%; Paperbacks were $1.6 billion, up 1.0%; Mass Market was $147.1 million, a decline of 6.9%; and Board Books were $101.3 million, up 6.7% as compared to the first eight months of 2019.

    eBook and Downloaded Audio revenues continued to be strong in August, as well as on a year-to-date basis:

    eBook revenues were up 18.2% for the month as compared to August of 2019 for a total of $101.7 million. On a year-to-date basis, eBooks were up 14.8%, coming in at $754.8 million for the first eight months of 2020. Notably, eBook revenues in the Children’s and YA category saw a 59.4% jump during the month, coming in at $10.3 million. On a year-to-date basis, eBook revenues in the Children’s and YA category were up 63.2% for the first eight months of the year, coming in at $83.6 million.

    The Downloaded Audio format continues the long-standing trend of seeing continuous growth every month since 2012.  Downloaded Audio revenues saw a 32.9% increase as compared to August of last year, reaching $57.9 million in revenue. On a year-to-date basis, Downloaded Audio was up 17.7% as compared to the same period in 2019, with a total of $432.6 million for the year so far. 

    Year-to-date Downloaded Audio revenue comprises 8.7% of reported Trade (Consumer Books) revenue.

    Religious Presses

    Religious press revenues were flat year-over-year in August, coming in at $56.1 million, a decline of 0.5% as compared to August 2020. The category was also flat on a year-to-date basis with a decline of 0.2%, and revenues of $415.0 million for the first eight months of the year.


    During August 2020 Education revenues were $1.2 billion, down 3.2% compared with August of 2019. Year-to-date Education revenues were down 14.8% as compared to the first eight months of 2019, coming in at $4.0 billion.

    Revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were down 7.8% for the month, as compared to August of 2019, coming in at $640.0 million. On a year-to-date basis, Higher Education revenues were down 1.5% to $2.0 billion.

    PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were down 13.9% for August 2020, at $521.6 million. PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were $2.0 billion on a year-to-date basis, a drop of 25.0% compared to the first eight months of last year.

    Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, decreased 2.1% during the month, coming in at $66.4 million. The category was down 0.9% for the first eight months of the year, with $403.5 million in revenue.

    University Presses were down 0.7% as compared to August of 2019, bringing in $5.2 million in revenue. On a year-to-date basis, University Presses declined 1.4%, bringing in $31.9 million for the first eight months of 2020.

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    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.

  • Groundbreaking report “the most thorough analysis to date” of tech platforms’ dominance & abuse of market power

    The House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee recently issued a report regarding the unprecedented dominance of certain technology platforms titled “Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets.” The Subcommittee’s 451-page report is the culmination of a 16 month-long investigation that included seven congressional hearings, submissions from 38 antitrust experts, interviews with more than 240 individuals, and the review of more than one million documents produced in the course of the investigation.

    Below is a comment from AAP President and CEO Maria Pallante regarding the Subcommittee’s report.

    “We thank Chairman Nadler, Chairman Cicilline, and the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee for their groundbreaking investigation of the serious threats posed by dominant technology platforms, and comprehensive report and recommendations released earlier this week.  These leaders have produced the most thorough analysis to date of the myriad ways in which dominant platforms abuse their market power, stifle competition, and manipulate consumer outcomes, including in the marketplace for books.”

    The Subcommittee’s full report can be viewed here. A link to the recent joint letter signed by three leading advocacy groups in book publishing – AAP, the American Booksellers Association (ABA), and the Authors Guild (AG) – to the Subcommittee regarding Amazon’s anti-competitive tactics in the book marketplace can be found here.

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  • The Association of American Publishers (AAP) announced today that its Directors have unanimously elected Brian Napack as Chairman of the Board, effective September 25, 2020.  Mr. Napack, President and CEO of John Wiley & Sons, has been AAP’s Vice Chairman since the beginning of the year, and a Board member since 2017.

    Mr. Napack succeeds John Sargent, who resigned as AAP’s Board Chairman on September 17, 2020 in conjunction with stepping away from Macmillan Publishers.  Mr. Sargent gave more than twenty years of exceptional service to AAP, nearly thirteen of them as an officer.

    In other recent changes, incoming CEO Don Weisberg has stepped onto the Board for Macmillan Publishers.  Jonathan Karp, President and CEO of Simon & Schuster, has replaced Carolyn Reidy, following her untimely death.  And Julia Reidhead, Chairman and President of W.W. Norton & Company, has joined the Board after being voted into an at-large seat by AAP’s membership in June.

    In announcing the election for Chairman, AAP’s President and CEO Maria A. Pallante, made the following statement: “Brian Napack is a forward-thinking publishing executive, running an American success story that is more than 200 years old. His vision, experience, and skill will be invaluable to AAP as we carry on the important work of advancing authorship, science, and education, and as we advocate for the copyright and free expression protections that are essential to the global publishing industry.”

    “A vibrant, independent publishing industry is simply essential to the health of our nation, and to the advancement of society worldwide,” said Brian Napack.  “This is as true today as it was when Wiley was founded in 1807.  I am very proud to have the opportunity to help AAP pursue its critical mission, one that enables creative expression, knowledge creation and impactful education.”

    Mr. Napack assumes the role of Chairman as AAP celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding.  W. Bradford Wiley, then president of John Wiley & Sons, served as the organization’s very first Board Chairman. 


    About Brian Napack

    Brian Napack is President and CEO of John Wiley and Sons (Wiley), one of the world’s leading publishers and a global leader in research and education. 

    Prior to joining Wiley in 2017, Brian was a Senior Advisor at Providence Equity Partners, a leading investor in media, education, information, and communication.  He has served on the boards of numerous companies in education, publishing and information including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Blackboard, Ascend Learning, Recorded Books, and Ingram Industries. 

    From 2006 to 2012, Brian was president of Macmillan, the global publisher where he oversaw businesses in education, trade publishing, magazines and digital media.  Earlier, he was a partner at L.E.K. Consulting, a global management consulting firm, and founded and served as CEO of ThinkBox, an educational software company.  At The Walt Disney Company, he founded Disney Educational Publishing and was a co-founder of Disney Interactive.  Early in his career, he held senior roles at Simon & Schuster, the publishing company.

    Brian today also serves on the board of Zero-To-Three, a science-based advocacy organization working to ensure that all children have a strong start in life.

    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 announced that veteran lawyer Allan Adler will retire from his position as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the organization, effective October 15. 

    The following is a comment from Maria A. Pallante, President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), regarding Mr. Adler’s departure:

    “With the Board of Directors, I want to thank Allan for his tireless public policy work on behalf of the publishing industry over the course of some 24 years.  As a lawyer, leader, and advocate for AAP, Allan applied great skill and expertise to countless complex issues and proceedings—both domestic and international—and helped to define, defend, and advance the rights of copyright and freedom of expression that are essential to the creative industries and marketplace of ideas.  As large and small publishing houses made important, dynamic transitions to online distribution, eBooks, audiobooks, and digital learning platforms, Allan helped to guide the corresponding critical response to Internet-era public policy challenges.  We will miss his comradery in the office and the passion that he brought to every project.  I know that I speak for the entire AAP community in wishing him all good things in his next chapter.”

    Allan Adler commented, “As I retire from AAP, I want to thank all of the people with whom I’ve worked over the years—in whatever capacity or context—to define, advance, and defend the rights of free speech and copyright protection as essential to any modern publisher’s enterprise. Guarantees of such rights and protections are the least that a society can provide in recognition of the indispensable role that AAP members play in enriching our personal and social lives, and in opening doors to comprehension for all of the interests of the human mind, as they continue to bring us the creative works of authors from boundless origins and with infinite variety.”

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  • The Library of Congress today announced that Shira Perlmutter has been selected to lead the United States Copyright Office. 

    The following is a statement from Maria A. Pallante, AAP President and CEO, on this important appointment:

    “Brava! The Association of American Publishers congratulates Shira Perlmutter on her appointment as the 14th Register of Copyrights.  As an exceptional copyright lawyer and government executive, Shira is immeasurably qualified to both lead the agency and guide the significant law and policy developments that are the Register’s statutory mandate.  Shira is an internationally respected public servant, legal scholar, and extensively experienced practitioner in the field of copyright law.  We have no doubt that her considerable talent and training will benefit all who rely upon the copyright framework, least not the United States, the creative industries, and the public. 

    "Under Shira’s leadership, we look forward to the Copyright Office continuing its long history of open dialogue with the private sector, and its proud tradition of providing impartial service to the many Members of Congress, government leaders, and international policymakers who depend on the Register and her team for expertise and advice.  We join with everyone in the creative community in congratulating Shira on this new role and well-deserved recognition.”

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