Press Release

AAP FEBRUARY 2021 STATSHOT REPORT: PUBLISHING INDUSTRY UP 24.7% FOR SECOND MONTH OF 2021, AND 16.4% YEAR TO DATE

AAP FEBRUARY 2021 STATSHOT REPORT: PUBLISHING INDUSTRY UP 24.7% FOR SECOND MONTH OF 2021, AND 16.4% YEAR TO DATE

Trade (Consumer Book) Revenues Up 19.1% in February and 20.3% Year to Date

April 27, 2021 — The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for February 2021 reflecting reported revenue for all tracked categories, including Trade (Consumer Books), K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses.

Total revenues across all categories for February 2021 were up 24.7% as compared to February 2020, coming in at $964.5 million. Year to date revenues were up 16.4%, at $2.2 billion for the first two months of the year.

Trade (Consumer Books) Revenues

Trade (Consumer Books) sales were up 19.1% in February, coming in at $646.6 million, and up 20.3% year to date, with $1.3 billion in revenue.

In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of February, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were up 26.9%, coming in at $232.8 million; Paperbacks were up 9.2%, with $186.3 million in revenue; Mass Market was up 35.7% to $21.7 million; and Board Books were up 3.2%, with $12.4 million in revenue. 

eBook revenues were up 19.8% for the month as compared to February of 2020 for a total of $99.3 million. The Downloaded Audio format was up 27.8% for February, coming in at $71.7 million in revenue. Physical Audio was down 20.9% coming in at $1.2 million.

Year to date, Hardback revenues were up 26.2%, coming in at $477.0 million; Paperbacks were up 14.1%, with $413.9 million in revenue; Mass Market was up 37.6% to $41.2 million; and Board Books were down 2.6%, with $29.6 million in revenue. 

eBook revenues were up 20.4% as compared to the first two months of 2020 for a total of $191.0 million. The Downloaded Audio format was up 23.7%, coming in at $131.6 million in revenue. Physical Audio was up 1.1% coming in at $3.2 million.

Religious Presses

Religious press revenues were up 13.7% in February, coming in at $67.0 million. 

On a year-to date basis, religious press revenues were up 6.4%, at 128.7 million.

Education

During February of 2021 Education revenues were $269.2 million, up 46.7% compared with February of 2020. Year to date education revenues were $731.8 million, up 11.4% as compared to the first two months of 2020.

Revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were up 60.0% for the month, as compared to February of 2020, coming in at $239.1 million. Year to date Higher Education was up 13.2%, at $668.8 million.

PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were down 11.6% for February 2021, at $30.1 million.  Year to date PreK-12 revenues were down 5.2%, coming in at $63.1 million. More in-depth information on PreK-12 Books and Materials Monthly is included in AAP’s PreK-12 monthly report.

Professional Books

Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were up 7.8% during the month, coming in at $39.8 million. Year to date Professional Books were $90.8 million, up 7.9% as compared to the first two 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.