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Book Publishers Begin 2017 with 4.9% Revenue Growth

Washington, DC; August 1, 2017 – Revenues for book publishers were $2.33 billion for the first quarter of 2017, a $108 million (4.9%) increase over the first quarter of 2016, according to the StatShot report from Association of American Publishers (AAP). Much of the growth is attributed to increased revenue in the two of the largest categories – Adult books and higher education course materials.

StatShot tracks publisher revenue for about 1,200 publishers of trade (fiction/non-fiction/religious), PreK-12 instructional materials, higher education course materials, university presses and professional books.

Trade Books

In the first quarter, trade books grew by about $13 million (0.9%) compared to the first quarter of 2016. Growth was consistent in January, February and March for Adult books as were the declines in Childrens/Young Adult and Religious Presses.

Total Trade Net Revenue by Category (in millions)*

Trade Book Formats

Publishers saw about $12 million in increased revenues from print books, mostly due to an 8.2% growth in hardback books, from the first quarter in 2016 to the first quarter in 2017. Revenues for digital formats were mixed, with downloaded audio growing 28.8% and eBooks declining by 5.3%.

Total Trade Net Revenue by Format (in millions)*

Education & Scholarly Publishing

Both education and scholarly publishers saw some increased revenues during the first quarter of 2017, compared to the first quarter of 2016.

Revenues for Higher Education course materials were up by $92 million (24.3%) to $470.2 million in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the first quarter in 2016. Revenues for Professional Publishing, which includes business, medical, law, scientific and technical books, were up by $5 million (4.5%) to $119.5 million.

Revenues for PreK-12 instructional materials declined slightly by 0.7% from $242.7 million to $241.0 million in 2016. University Press revenues were down by $309,000 (2.4%) compared to the first quarter of 2016.

Note: All figures represent publishers’ net revenue from all distribution channels (these are not retailer/consumer sales figures).

About AAP

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) represents nearly four hundred member organizations including major commercial, digital learning, education and professional publishers alongside independents, non-profits, university presses and scholarly societies. We represent the publishing industry’s priorities including copyright and related intellectual property rights, piracy and enforcement strategies, digital growth and related business models, funding for education and libraries, fair tax and trade policies, and freedom of expression and literacy debates.

Find us online at or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.