Press Release

Publisher Revenue for Consumer Books Up 3.6% First Half of 2018

Revenue for consumer (trade) books up by $115.5 million compared to the first half of 2017

Washington, DC; September 7, 2018 – Publishers’ revenue for consumer (trade) books increased by $115.5 million (+3.6%) for the first six months of 2018 (Jan. – June) compared to the same period in 2017. The biggest revenue gains in the first half of the year in terms of dollars came from Adult Books, which were up $90.6 million (+4.2%). Five consecutive months of positive revenue for trade publishers helped to mitigate June’s -6.3% decline in revenue for trade books (fiction/non-fiction/religious).

Overall publisher revenue for the first half of the year was down by $80.2 million (-1.4%) compared to the first half of 2017, with the bulk of the decline coming from the PreK-12 Instructional Materials category. These revenues from AAP’s StatShot Monthly Report, which tracks publisher revenue comparatively each month, represent all tracked categories (Trade, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses).

Trade Publishing

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

Jan. – June 2018

Jan. – June 2017

Percent Change

Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction








Religious Presses








Revenues for hardback books, paperback books, and downloaded audio were up for the first half of 2018 compared to the first half of 2017. Hardback books had the greatest revenue gains, with an additional $63.5 million in revenue (with $50.2 million of hardback book sales coming from Adult Books). Downloaded audio is still growing by double digits, and is up +35.4% compared to the first half of 2017.

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

Jan. – June 2018

Jan. – June 2017

Percent Change





Paperback & Mass Market








Downloaded Audio




Physical Audio




Board Books








Education and Scholarly Publishing

Revenue for education and scholarly publishers declined in all categories for the first half of 2018 compared to 2017. The greatest declines came from PreK-12 Instructional Materials, which was down by double digits in both May and June.

Some bright spots for the sector were a +3.4% increase in eBook revenue for University Presses and +6.8% increase in revenue for medical books (in the Professional Books category).

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

Jan. – June 2018

Jan. – June 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 1,100 publishers, with participation subject to change over time. AAP also measures the revenue of the overall publishing industry with AAP’s StatShot Annual Report, which was released July 20, 2018 and can be purchased 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