Press Release

AAP OCTOBER 2019 STATSHOT REPORT: INDUSTRY UP 3.6% YEAR-TO-DATE

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for October 2019 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 year to date in 2019 (Jan-Oct) were $12.57 billion, an increase of 3.6% over the same period last year. For the month of October overall publisher revenue was $1.13 billion, a slight decrease of 0.8% from the October 2018 total of $1.14 billion.

Trade Formats

  • Physical paper formats continued dominate the Trade (consumer publications) category, accounting for $751.0 million, or 80.0% of the category’s $938.7 million in revenue for the month.
    • Among physical formats, paperback books again saw the most growth, climbing 11.0% compared to October 2018.
  • eBook revenues continued to decline, dropping 8.9% to $80.0 million compared to October 2018.
  • Downloaded Audio continued to be another bright spot for the industry, increasing 15.1% to $49.6 million compared to the same month last year. The Downloaded Audio format has seen at least some growth every month since AAP began tracking it in 2012.

Trade Categories

  • Revenues from Childrens & Young Adult Books rose 20.9% from October 2018, to a total of $317.7 million for the month.
    • Physical formats in this category posted strong growth, with revenues from hardback books increasing by 29.3% to $148.3 million compared to October 2018, and revenues from paperback books growing 21.7% vs the same month last year. 
  • PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were $120.8 million, up 10.3% compared to the same month last year.
  • Revenues from Higher Educational Course Materials were down 67.9% year over year, coming in at $24.1 million. Year-to-date revenue in this category is down 12.7% to $2.5 billion, attributable in part to an ongoing decline in spending on course materials as students take advantage of new, cost-effective options that publishers have made available, including rental options for both print and digital materials, loose-leaf versions, and creative new distribution models such as Inclusive Access and subscription services.

Professional Publishing

  • Professional Publishing, which includes Business; Medical; and Law, Technical, and Scientific publications; increased 6.4% from October 2019 to October 2018, reaching $39.3 million.

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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.

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 newsroom.publishers.org or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.