October 26, 2017
Book Publisher Sales Were $5.72 Billion in the First Half of 2017
StatShot data from the Association of American Publishers reveals books for adults were the most popular category and print books remain the best-selling formats
Washington, DC; Oct. 26, 2017 – Publishers’ revenues (sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc.) were $5.72 billion – up by $195.9 million (3.5%) for the first half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. Tracked categories include: Trade – fiction/non-fiction/religious, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses.
Revenue for Trade Books grew by 3.0%, with revenue increases in both Adult Books and Childrens/YA books over 2016.
“What a testament to the importance of the publishing industry,” said Maria A. Pallante, President and CEO, Association of American Publishers. “Whatever the category, format or distribution platform, books remain a constant in the marketplace and in our lives.”
- By Category: In the first half of 2017, compared to the first half of 2016, trade sales were $3.27 billion – up by $95.8 million (3.0%)
- Adult Books had $2.22 billion in sales, up $66.7 million (3.1%)
- Childrens/YA Books had $852.4 million in sales, up $36.8 million (4.5%)
- Religious Presses had $197.0 million in sales, down by $7.7 million (-3.8%)
- By Format: In the first half of 2017 vs. 2016
- Paperback/Mass Market books had $1.27 billion in sales, down $23.6 million (-1.8%)
- Hardback books had $1.11 billion in sales, up $98.7 million (9.7%)
- eBooks had $555.7 million in sales, down $26.8 million (-4.6%)
- Downloaded audio had $157.7 million in sales, up $38.2 million (32.0%)
- Other formats (including board books, physical audio) had $181.8 million in sales, up $9.4 million (5.4%)
Below is a chart that shows the market share of various Trade Book formats for the first half of the year from the past six years. Print books – including paperback, mass market and hardback – account for more than 70% of publisher revenue of trade books. Audiobooks more than doubled their share since 2011.
Educational Materials and Professional Books
- Educational Materials: In the first half of 2017, compared to the first half of 2016
- PreK-12 Instructional Materials had revenues of $1.19 billion, flat at +0.1%
- Higher Education Course Materials had revenues of $941.8 million, up by 11.2%
- Professional Books and University Presses: In the first half of 2017, compared to the first half of 2016
- Professional Books had revenues of $273.2 million, up 0.7%. These categories include business, medical, law, scientific and technical books.
- University presses had revenues of $24.6 million, up 2.5%
Publisher net revenue is tracked monthly by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and includes sales data from more than 1,200 publishers (#AAPStats). 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.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) represents more than 300 book and journal publishers in the United States on matters of law and policy. Find us online at publishers.org or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.