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Cara Duckworth



The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for February 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 sales across all categories for February 2020 rose 3.1% as compared to the second month of 2019, reaching $787 million. Year to Date sales were up 3.5%, totaling $1.9 billion for the first two months of 2020.

Trade (Consumer Book) Revenues:

Trade sales were up 2.7% as compared to February 2019, coming in at $538 million. Year to Date Trade sales were up 3.2%, totaling $1.1 billion for the first two months of the year.

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Physical paper formats continued to dominate the Trade (consumer publications) category, accounting for $376 million, or 70.0% of the category’s revenue for the month.

Downloaded Audio continued to grow during the month, with a 19.8% increase as compared to February of last year, reaching $56 million in revenue. On a Year to Date basis, Downloaded Audio was up 17.3% as compared to the first two months of 2019, with a total of $106 million for the year so far. The Downloaded Audio format has seen continuous growth every single month since AAP began tracking it in 2012.

Within Trade, Religious Presses was the category with the highest growth in Downloaded Audio, coming in at 26.2% for the month with a total of $4 million. Meanwhile, Downloaded Audio for Adult Books represented the bulk of the format’s overall revenues, with a 20.1% increase year-over-year to $48million in revenues. On a Year to Date basis, Downloaded Audio for Religious Presses was up 22.6%, coming in at $7 million during the first two months of the year, and Year to Date revenues from Downloaded Audio of Adult Books were up 17.2% to $91 million.

eBook revenues declined 5.6% as compared to February 2019 for a total of $83 million. On a year to date basis, eBooks declined 6.1%, coming in at $159 million for January and February of 2020.


In the education sector, Year to Date revenues from Higher Education Course Materials grew 2.8% to $581 million compared to the first two months of 2019, while Year to Date revenues from PreK-12 Instructional Materials fell 1.1% to $116 million.

Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific were up 28.2% for the month, generating $37 million, and up 17.3% Year to Date, with $84 million in revenue during the first two months.

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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.