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Book Publisher Revenue up Slightly Through November 2017

Washington, D.C.; April 4, 2018 – Publishers saw decreased revenue (-5.4%) in November 2017 vs. November 2016, but year-to-date revenue remains up (+1.1%) compared to Jan. – Nov. 2016 in all tracked categories. Tracked categories include: Trade – fiction/non-fiction/religious, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses. The year-to-date growth is primarily attributed to gains in the two largest categories: Adult Books, up $129.7 million (+2.9%) and Higher Education Course Materials, up $114.3 million (+3.8%).

Publisher revenue for trade books was down for November by -4.0%, with declines in Adult, Childrens/YA and Religious Presses. Year-to-date, trade revenue is up by +1.0%, or $66.7 million.

Total Trade Net Revenue by Category for Jan. – Nov. 2017 (in millions)*

Jan. – Nov. 2017 Jan. – Nov. 2016 Percent Change
Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction








Religious Presses




Total Trade




Trade Book Formats

In November, downloaded audio (+44.8%) and board books (+1.5%) were the only categories to see increased revenue. However, during the Jan. – Nov. 2017 timeframe, publishers saw increased revenue for hardback books, downloaded audio and board books. Publisher revenue for eBooks continued to decline in all categories except one – religious presses, where eBooks are up +6.4% in November and +9.9% year-to-date.

Eleven Month Total Trade Net Revenue by Format (in millions)*

Jan. – Nov. 2017 Jan. – Nov. 2016 Percent Change




Paperback & Mass Market








Downloaded Audio




Board Books




Other (incl physical audio)




Education and Scholarly Publishing

The education sector saw mixed results, with +3.8% revenue growth in Higher Education Course Materials and a -3.1% decline in PreK-12 Instructional Materials from Jan. – Nov. 2017.

Revenue for Professional Books increased by +14.8% for Nov. 2017 compared to Nov. 2016 and are up +10.5% year to date. University Press revenue declined -0.8% in November, but are up +4.8% year-to-date.

About StatShot

Publisher net revenue is tracked monthly by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and includes sales data from about 1,200 publishers. Figures represent publishers’ net revenue for the U.S. (i.e. what publishers sell to bookstores, direct to consumer, online venues, etc.), and are not retailer/consumer sales figures.

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.

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