Press Release

Religious Presses and Childrens & Young Adult Books Saw Increases in October 2016 Despite Overall Revenue Decline for Publishers

Trade books had their first month of declining revenues in 2016 since February

Adult Books saw their first increase in eBooks since March 2015

Washington, DC; March. 22, 2017 – Religious presses and Childrens & Young Adult Books Publishers’ revenues increased for Oct. 2016 and for the year to-date. Despite those increases, the challenging month for adult books and educational materials resulted in a decline in overall publisher revenues of 9.3% in Oct. 2016 and 6.4% for the year-to-date in all tracked categories (Trade – fiction/non-fiction/religious, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses).

Trade book revenues fell 7.5% in Oct. 2016 vs Oct. 2015, and were down 0.7% year-to-date. The cause of the decline was Adult Books, which was down 13.1% for the month. Interestingly, after 19 months of decline, Adult eBooks grew 2.6% in Oct. 2016 vs Oct. 2015; eBooks, however, remain down for the year-to-date in all trade categories – Adult Books, Childrens/YA and Religious Presses.

Publisher revenues include sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc.

Trade Books

From Jan. – Oct. 2016 vs. the same time in 2015 trade books were down 0.7% year-to-date.

  • By Category:
    • Adult Books were down 3.2% to $3.9 billion
    • Childrens & YA Books were up 4.4% to $1.4 billion
    • Religious Presses are up 7.0% to $401.8 million
  • By Format
    • Paperback books grew 6.8% to $1.8 billion
    • Hardback books were flat at 0.2% $2.1 billion
    • Downloaded audio grew 27.3% to $219.5 million
    • eBooks were down 17.2% to $971.4 million

Educational Materials and Professional Books

  • Educational Materials had a revenue loss of 8.6% for PreK-12 Instructional Materials and 11.4% for Higher Education Course Materials from Jan. – Oct. 2016 vs. the same time in 2015
  • Professional Publishing was down 21.5% From Jan. – Oct. 2016 vs. the same time in 2015. These categories include business, medical, law, scientific and technical books. University presses were down 3.8% for the 10 months.

About StatShot

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.

Media Contact

Marisa Bluestone / / {202} 220-4558

About AAP

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) represents about four hundred member organizations including major commercial, digital learning and education and professional publishers alongside independents, non-profits, university presses and scholarly societies. We represent the industry’s priorities on policy, legislative and regulatory issues regionally, nationally and worldwide. These include the protection of intellectual property rights and worldwide copyright enforcement, digital and new technology issues, funding for education and libraries, tax and trade, censorship and literacy. Find us online at or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.