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  • On Friday, June 2, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), Penguin Random House, Candlewick Press, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishers, Scholastic Inc., and Simon & Schuster filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs, patrons of the Llano County Library System in Llano County, Texas, in the case of  Little v. Llano County, a suit that challenges the actions taken by members of the Llano County Commissioners Court, members of the Llano County Library Board, and the Llano County Library System Director, to remove 17 books from the shelves of the public library system.

    The suit was filed on April 25, 2022, by seven Llano County residents, claiming that, among other things, public officials had violated their constitutional rights under the First Amendment by banning books based on content and viewpoint. In March 2023, a federal court granted plaintiffs a preliminary injunction, which ordered the return of the books to the library system and catalog. The defendants are now appealing that decision.

    “On behalf of our many members, we are pleased to file this amicus brief in support of the critically important suit brought by public library patrons,” commented Matthew Stratton, Deputy General Counsel, Association of American Publishers. “As our brief states, the instinct to ban books is not unique to any particular political ideology, but regardless of when or where it happens, the removal of books from the shelves of a public library is fundamentally inconsistent with the tenets of American democracy. Accordingly, time and again courts have upheld core First Amendment freedoms by rejecting attempts to impose viewpoint and content-based discrimination in libraries.”

    Excerpts from the amicus brief include:

    • “[T]he County’s removals targeted some of the most celebrated and consequential works of recent years, as well as popular and classic children’s books.” The titles include Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents, which was on the Longlist for the National Book Awards and Time Magazine’s No. 1 Nonfiction Book of the Year; They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group, which was written by a winner of the Newbery Honor and the Washington Post/ Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award and a finalist for the American Library Association’s Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults award; Spinning, a coming-of-age story of the author, a competitive figure skater that was the winner of the 2018 Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work; and In the Night Kitchen, the iconic children’s classic and winner of a Caldecott Honor, among other outstanding titles.
    • “The Constitution does not care about the political affiliation of the book-banners or the causes that motivate their censorship. When faced with the removal of books from library shelves, courts have consistently applied heightened scrutiny to bans motivated by government disapproval of the views and themes in the books. In hindsight, these decisions have been validated: books that once seemed dangerous and destabilizing to the prevailing political, moral, or cultural consensus are now considered part of the canon and celebrated.”
    • “It does not matter whether [a] ban serves progressive or conservative causes. The First Amendment is neither ‘woke’ nor ‘anti-woke.’ It protects the right of all Americans to access literary works across the political, ideological, and experiential spectrum, without government violation.”
    • “It is a hallmark of modern First Amendment jurisprudence that, in the marketplace of ideas, voices of dissent and criticism are essential to a deliberative process that arrives at truth. Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, 630 (1919) (Holmes, J., dissenting) (“[T]he best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market[.]”). Unfettered public debate is, in turn, essential to effective self-government.”

    The full brief can be found here.

  • Suit Challenges Arkansas Act 372, a Bill That Would Restrict Access to Books in State Book Stores and Public Libraries

    A broad coalition of authors, publishers, booksellers, librarians, and readers today filed suit in the US District Court for the Western District of Arkansas challenging Arkansas Act 372, a law that would restrict access to books in bookstores and libraries located within the state, and in the process violate the First Amendment rights of the state’s reading public. The bill was signed by the Governor of Arkansas on March 30th and is slated to go into effect on August 1st.

    Carol Coffey, President of the Arkansas Library Association; Nate Coulter, Executive Director of the Central Arkansas Library System; Allison Hill, the CEO of the American Booksellers Association; Maria Pallante, President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers; Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild; Deborah Caldwell- Stone, the Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation; Jeff Trexler, the Director of Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; Pearl’s Books; Kandi West, Lia Lent and Lynne Phillips, owners of WordsWorth Books; and Adam Webb released the following statement on the suit:

    Together, we have filed this lawsuit to protect the First Amendment rights of Arkansas’ reading community. Arkansas Act 372 robs the state’s readers of their constitutional right to receive information and threatens the state’s booksellers and librarians with extreme punishments for performing their core – and essential – function of making books available to the public. This law will ultimately force bookstores and librarians to restrict their offerings to works that are suitable for minors, or bar them from entering institutions that have long served as the nexus between community and learning.

    “We oppose any and all efforts to undermine the First Amendment, which is foundational to our democracy and critical to the lawful exchange of art, literature, and information. Books have long shaped our understanding of the world around us and provided readers with the chance to explore topics that span a vast spectrum of ideas and experiences. The booksellers and librarians of Arkansas are stewards of that proud tradition, and their essential mission of serving the state’s readers must be preserved.”

    What the Bill Would Do

    The lawsuit will challenge two provisions of Act 372 that violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments. One component of the new law makes it a crime for libraries, booksellers, and any brick-and-mortar establishment to display or make available works that might be harmful to minors. This will require libraries and booksellers to limit all readers to books appropriate for minors or exclude all minor readers from their premises. The second provision makes it possible for any person in Arkansas to demand the removal of a book the person deems inappropriate, limiting readers to one person’s opinion about what books should be in the library.


    The plaintiffs in the suit include the American Booksellers Association, Association of American Publishers, Authors Guild, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Freedom to Read Foundation, and two local bookstores – WordsWorth Books in Little Rock and Pearl’s Books in Fayetteville, as well as a consortium of local libraries, librarians, and library advocates, which includes Fayetteville Public Library, Eureka Springs Carnegie Public Library, Central Arkansas Library System (CALS), Arkansas Library Association, Advocates for All Arkansas Libraries, Nate Coulter (Executive Director of CALS); Adam Webb, a librarian from Garland County; Olivia Farrell, an adult CALS patron; Hayden Kirby, a 17-year-old CALS patron; and Leta Caplinger, a patron of the Crawford County Public Library.


    Counsel for the various plaintiffs include John T. Adams of Fuqua Campbell, P.A.; Michael Bamberger of Dentons; Bettina Brownstein of the ACLU of Arkansas; and Benjamin Seel and Will Bardwell of Democracy Forward.



    Dave Grogan
    American Booksellers Association

    John McKay
    Association of American Publishers

    Raluca Albu
    Authors Guild

    Jeff Trexler
    Comic Book Legal Defense Fund 

    Emily Singer
    Democracy Forward

    Shawnda Hines
    Freedom to Read Foundation

    Daniel Jordan
    Pearl's Books

    Kandi West 
    WordsWorth Books 

  • Revenues Down 2.6% on Year-Over-Year Basis, But Still Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

    The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released the StatShot Annual report covering the calendar year 2022, estimating that the U.S. book publishing industry generated $28.10 billion industry-wide during the year, a decline of 2.6% as compared to 2021. In spite of the slight decline, total industry revenue remained 8.6% higher than the $25.87 billion total recorded for the year of 2019, just prior to the onset of the pandemic.

    “During the year the publishing industry continued to show considerable resilience, with total revenues still above pre-pandemic levels,” commented Syreeta Swann, Chief Operating Officer, Association of American Publishers. “The fact that the five-year trend also shows consistent growth suggests that the industry is well positioned to weather a challenging economic environment and an evolving marketplace over the long haul.”

    2022 StatShot Annual Report Highlights

    Estimated Industry Revenue for 2022 was $28.10 Billion 

    • Industry-wide revenue declined by 2.6% during the year, going from $28.85 billion in 2021 to $28.10 billion in 2022. 
      • During 2022 the industry’s largest category, Trade (consumer books), decreased by 6.6% to $17.36 billion in terms of estimated revenue. 
      • Higher Education revenue decreased 7.2% to $3.18 billion.
      • PreK–12 Education increased 16.6% to $5.61 billion.
      • Professional books decreased by 6.0% to $1.47 billion.
      • Religious Presses, a subcategory of Trade, decreased 6.0% to $1.27 billion.
      • University Presses, the smallest category reported, declined by 7.7% to $414 million.

    2022 Revenues Still Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

    • While the 2022 StatShot Annual report found a slight decline in overall revenue on a year-over-year basis, total industry revenue ($28.10 billion) was still well above pre-pandemic levels, with the 2022 figure coming in 8.6% higher than 2019 ($25.87 billion), and 8.7% higher than 2020 revenues ($25.86 billion). 

    Trends During 2022 for Retail Channels

    • For the seventh consecutive year, publisher sales via Online Retail channels exceeded sales via Physical Retail channels. 
      • Revenue attributed to Physical Retail was $5.22 billion for the year, a drop of 5.8% on a year-over-year basis.
      • 2022 revenue attributable to Online Retail, a channel that includes both physical and digital books, was $8.19 billion, a decline of 12.4% as compared to 2021. 
    • Channels that saw increased revenue during 2022 included:
      • Direct Sales, which grew 12.3% to $7.23 billion.
      • The Intermediary Channel, which was up 0.7% to $5.05 billion.
      • The “Other” Channels, which increased 13.1% to $1.16 billion.

    Trends During 2022 for Formats

    • eBooks once again declined, falling 6.5% to $1.95 billion. 
      • With the exception of 2020, the first year of the pandemic, eBook revenue has declined every year since 2014.
    • Digital Audio revenue increased, climbing 2.6% to $1.81 billion. Revenue attributable to this format has increased steadily since 2012.
    • During the year, Paperback outpaced Hardback for the first time since 2014.
      • Paperback decreased 0.5% to $6.38 billion during 2022.
      • Hardback decreased 13.6% coming in at $6.18 billion.

    Five-Year Trends in Publishing 

    • Overall, the publishing industry revenue grew 11.0% between 2018 and 2022.
      • Revenue in the industry’s largest category, Trade (consumer books), grew 9.7% during the period.
      • Religious Presses, a part of Trade, decreased 2.4%.
      • Higher Education revenue decreased by 18.0%.
      • PreK–12 Education revenue increased 67.4%.
      • Professional books revenue decreased by 20.6%.
      • University Presses, the smallest category reported, increased by 3.9%.
    • Industry revenue by format for 2018 – 2022:
      • Revenue from Hardbacks increased 4.1% during the five-year period.
      • Revenue from Paperbacks increased 15.6% between 2018 and 2022. 
      • Mass Market revenue declined a total of 37.7%.
      • eBook revenue decreased 2.5% during the five-year period.
      • Revenue from Instructional Materials, which includes textbooks, workbooks, review books, standardized tests, digital textbooks, course materials as well as online tools such as homework managers increased 13.0%.
      • Digital Audio revenue increased by 71.7%.
      • The growth in Digital Audio revenue continues to overtake Physical Audio, which declined by 69.8% during the five-year period.

    The full report is available for purchase on AAP’s website.


    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 the 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.

  • Today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of photographer Lynn Goldsmith in the copyright fair use case Andy Warhol Foundation v. Lynn Goldsmith. In its amicus curiae brief, the Association of American Publishers explained that our copyright system engenders an ecosystem of free expression, fueled by marketable and enforceable exclusive rights and a reasonable fair use doctrine.

    In affirming the Second Circuit, the opinion, penned by Justice Sotomayor, found that “Goldsmith’s photograph and AWF’s 2016 licensing of Orange Prince share substantially the same purpose, and that AWF’s use of Goldsmith’s photo was of a commercial nature.” The Court concluded that these two elements “counsel against fair use, absent some other justification for copying.” The holding enables fair use to strike the proper balance “between original works and secondary uses” through the framework crafted by Congress. Speaking further about the role of copyright in incentivizing authorship, Sotomayor said, “If the last century of American art, literature, music, and film is any indication, the existing copyright law, of which today’s opinion is a continuation, is a powerful engine of creativity.”

    “Today’s decision reinforces the essential role that copyright plays in society,” commented Maria A. Pallante, President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers. “The Court’s decision is consistent with the points we raised in our 2022 amicus brief. Importantly, it reaffirms the fact that transformative use under the first fair use factor requires a robust analysis about the use at issue and cannot be interpreted so broadly as to swallow the derivative work right.”

    The facts of the case turn on a photograph of the musician Prince, which the photographer Goldsmith licensed to Vanity Fair for a single use artist rendering in 1984, which Warhol completed, and Vanity Fair published along with attribution to Goldsmith for her underlying photograph.  After Warhol’s death, the Warhol Foundation began generating revenue from 15 additional works (mainly silkscreens) that Warhol had made from the photograph without permission but had not himself exploited. 

    The opinion does not address “the creation, display, or sale of the original Prince Series works.”

  • The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for February 2023 reflecting reported revenue for Trade (Consumer Books), Higher Education Course Materials, and Professional Publishing.

    Total revenues across all categories for February 2023 were up 0.2% as compared to February 2022, coming in at $1.0 billion. Year-to-date revenues were up 1.8%, at $2.3 billion for the first two months of the year.

    Trade (Consumer Books) Revenues


    Trade (Consumer Books) revenues were down 0.4% in February, coming in at $706.3 million.

    In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of February, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were down 6.4%, coming in at $235.5 million; Paperbacks were down 0.9%, with $244.7 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 3.2% to $15.5 million; and Special Bindings were down 5.5%, with $16.2 million in revenue.

    eBook revenues were down 4.8% for the month as compared to February 2022 for a total of $87.5 million, and overall Digital Audio format was up 31.6% for February, coming in at $84.5 million in revenue. Physical Audio was down 37.0% coming in at $700 thousand.


    Year-to-date Trade revenues were up 1.2%, at $1.5 billion for the first two months of the year. Hardback revenues were down 3.2%, coming in at $499.9 million; Paperbacks were up 3.7%, with $522.4 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 20.9% to $27.9 million; and Special Bindings were down 8.2%, with $32.6 million in revenue.

    eBook revenues were down 0.8% as compared to the first two months of 2022 for a total of $172.6 million. The Digital Audio format was up 20.6%, coming in at $145.3 million in revenue. Physical Audio was down 24.2% coming in at $1.8 million.

    Within Trade Category, Digital Audio Surpasses eBooks In Books For Adults Sub-Category For First Time

    Within Trade, the Books for Adults sub-category saw Digital Audio revenues climb 33.5% for the month of February, reaching $73.3 million, surpassing revenues for eBooks for the first time in history. eBook revenues for the month were down 7.6% coming in at $71.6 million.

    For the year, Digital Audio revenues in Books for Adults were up 21.4%, reaching $126.4 million. eBook revenues were down 1.0%, coming in at $144.6 million for the first two months of 2023.

    Overall, Adult book revenues were down 2.1% in February, coming in at $428.3 million, and up 2.0%, reaching $911.9 million on a year-to-date basis.

    Religious Presses


    Religious press revenues were up 11.0% in February, coming in at $75.6 million. Hardback revenues were up 12.4% to $47.1 million in revenue, Paperback revenues were up 13.9% to $13.0 million, eBook revenues were down 4.1% coming in at $5.7 million, and Digital Audio revenues were up 8.8% at $4.8 million.


    On a year-to-date basis, religious press revenues were up 3.3%, reaching $146.9 million. Hardback revenues were up 4.5% at $88.3 million in revenue, Paperback revenues were up 3.0% to $29.6 million, eBook revenues were down 3.2% at $9.9 million, and Digital Audio revenues were up 9.0% at $7.7 million. 


    During February 2023 revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were $242.9 million, up 4.7% compared with February 2022. Year-to-date Higher Education Course Materials revenues were $706.2 million, up 4.3% compared to the first two months of 2022.

    Professional Books

    Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were down 7.9% during the month, coming in at $43.2 million. Year-to-date Professional Books revenues were $87.0 million, down 3.5% as compared to the first two months of 2022.

    AAP’s StatShot

    AAP StatShot reports the monthly and yearly net revenue of publishing houses from U.S. sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, and other channels. StatShot draws revenue data from approximately 1,240 publishers, although participation may fluctuate slightly from report to report. 

    StatShot reports are designed to give ongoing revenue snapshots across publishing sectors 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 both a month-to-month and year-to-year basis within a given StatShot report.

    Monthly and yearly StatShot reports may not align completely across reporting periods, because: a) The pool of StatShot participants may fluctuate from report to report; and b) Like any business, it is common accounting practice for publishing houses to update and restate their previously reported revenue data. If, for example, a business learns that its revenues were greater in a given year than its reports first indicated, it will restate the revenues in subsequent reports to AAP, permitting AAP in turn to report information that is more accurate than previously reported.