Press Release

AAP StatShot: Double Digit Growth for Trade Publishers in November 2018

Washington, DC; Jan. 15, 2019 – Publishers saw double-digit growth in all categories of trade books -Adult Books (+19.6%), Children’s/Young Adult (+17.3%) and Religious Presses (+14.1%) in November 2018 compared to November 2017. Revenue for trade books (sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc.) totaled $7.29 billion for the year-to-date (Jan. – Nov. 2018), up by $330.3 million (+4.7%) compared to the same timeframe in 2017.

In November 2018, overall publisher revenue increased by $167.5 million, (+15.3%) for all tracked categories (Trade, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses) compared to November 2017. This brings the year-to-date total to $13.53 billion, up $42.3 million (+0.3%) from the same timeframe in 2017.

Trade Publishing

Jan. to Nov: Trade Book Revenue (in millions)

Jan. – Nov. 2018

Jan. – Nov. 2017

Percent Change

Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction








Religious Presses








While all three categories of trade books saw increased revenue, the industry’s largest category – Adult Books – grew the most. With a revenue increase of $101.5 million (19.6%), Adult Books saw greater growth in November than in any other month in 2017. The month’s growth contributed to a $230.2 million (5.1%) increase in publisher revenue for the year-to-date for Adult Books, with most of the growth from sales of hardback books (+36.3%).

Jan. to Nov.: Total Trade Revenue by Format (in millions)

Jan. – Nov. 2018

Jan. – Nov. 2017

Percent Change





Paperback & Mass Market








Downloaded Audio




Physical Audio




Board Books








Hardback books benefitted the most from the uptick in trade book revenue, with +28.5% growth compared to November 2017. Downloaded audio also continued its significant growth in November, up +31.6%.

While they didn’t grow as much as they had in October, eBooks also benefitted from November’s revenue increase with +1.0% growth for the month compared to 2017. The growth came from a revenue increase of Children’s/Young Adult eBooks (+13.2%) and Religious Presses (+19.0%), balancing out the format’s decline (-0.7%) in Adult Books.

Education and Scholarly Publishing

Revenues for education and scholarly publishers were mixed in November, with revenue growth of +8.0% in Higher Ed and +25.4% in Professional Books, and declines in PreK-12 (-7.4%) and University Presses (-15.9%) compared to November 2017. With the exception of Professional Books, the year-to-date (Jan. – Nov.) revenue in all these categories remained down in 2018 compared to the same timeframe in 2017.

Jan. to Nov: Education and Scholarly Publishing (in millions)

Jan. – Nov. 2018

Jan. – Nov. 2017

Percent Change

Higher Ed Course Materials




PreK-12 Instructional Materials




Professional Books




University Presses




Publisher net revenue is tracked monthly by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and includes revenue from about 1,375 publishers, with participation subject to change over time. The StatShot Annual, Higher Education Annual, and PreK-12 Annual reports for 2017 are available for purchase; additional information about them can be found here.

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 at @AmericanPublish