Press Release

Publisher Revenue for Trade Books Increases in August 2018 and Year-to-Date

Washington, DC; October 16, 2018 – Publishers’ revenue for trade (consumer) books and PreK-12 Instructional Materials increased in August 2018 compared to August 2017, continuing the trends from the July data which also saw growth in these categories. The increases added $26 million in revenue (+1.2%) for publishers in August 2018, offsetting slight declines in other categories.

For the first eight months of 2018 (Jan. – Aug.) trade publishers saw growth in all tracked categories – Adult Books, Children’s/YA and Religious Presses – compared to the same timeframe in 2017. Adult Books added $153 million (+5.2%) for the year-to-date compared to 2017. Overall book publisher revenues were down slightly (-0.6%) through August 2018. These revenues from AAP’s StatShot Monthly Report, which comparatively tracks publisher revenue each month, represent all tracked categories (Trade, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses).

Trade Publishing

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

Jan. – Aug. 2018

Jan. – Aug. 2017

Percent Change

Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction








Religious Presses








Print books generally saw revenue growth, with strong gains in both hardback and paperback books in August 2018 vs. August 2017. Publisher revenue also increased +45.2% for downloaded audio compared to August 2017. Revenues for eBooks and board books were flat at +0.2% and -0.2% respectively. Mass market and physical audio declined in August 2018 compared to 2017. Other than August being a better month for eBooks and board books, the data are consistent with the year-to-date figures.

Of note, revenue for eBooks is up by double-digits in the smaller Religious Presses category and was $4.0 million in August 2018, up from $3.4 million in August 2017 – a +15.8% increase. eBook sales for Religious Presses remain flat (+0.2%) for the year–to-date.

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

Jan. – Aug. 2018

Jan. – Aug. 2017

Percent Change

Hardback $1,576.9 $1,476.7 +6.8%
Paperback & Mass Market $1,741.4 $1,691.2 +3.0%
eBooks $685.3 $715.2 -4.2%
Downloaded Audio $294.7 $214.3 +37.5%
Physical Audio $26.6 $35.3 -24.6%
Board Books $79.9 $82.3 -2.8%
Other $222.9 $204.3 +9.1%

Education and Scholarly Publishing

While revenues for education and scholarly publishers are down for the year-to-date in 2018 compared to 2017, August was an improvement over prior months for education publishers. Revenue for PreK-12 Instructional Materials was up $5.0 million (+0.9%) in August 2018 vs 2017 and Higher Education Course Materials was down $5.1 million (-0.6%).

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

Jan. – Aug. 2018

Jan. – Aug. 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. 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