Press Release

Trade Book Publisher Revenues Up 4.4% for First Three Quarters of 2018

Washington, DC; October 29, 2018 – For the first three quarters of the year, trade publishers’ revenues were up by $228.3 million (+4.4%) compared to the same period in 2017. The gains are led by increased revenue in Adult Books (also +4.4%), the book publishing industry’s largest category. Publishers revenue for Children’s and Young Adult Books (+3.5%) and Religious Presses (+7.6%) also increased.

The increased revenue in trade books was offset by decreases in the education and scholarly publishing sectors, with revenue in all categories declining for the first three quarters of 2018 compared to 2017. Overall publisher revenue was down by -1.4% for all tracked categories (Trade, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses).

Trade Publishing

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

Jan. – Sept. 2018

Jan. – Sept. 2017

Percent Change

Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction








Religious Presses








Format trends from throughout 2018 generally remained consistent for both the month of September and the year-to-date, with strong increases in downloaded audio and general revenue increases for print, with strong gains for hardback books.

There were some notable areas of growth in the Children’s/Young Adult books category for September 2018, compared to September 2017, including double digit revenue growth in board books (+23.5) and revenue growth in eBooks (+8.8%).

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

Jan. – Sept. 2018

Jan. – Sept. 2017

Percent Change





Paperback & Mass Market








Downloaded Audio




Physical Audio




Board Books








Education and Scholarly Publishing

Revenues for education and scholarly publishers are down for the first three quarters of 2018 compared to 2017, with September revenues adding to the decline. One bright spot is business books in the Professional Publishing category, which was up +8.8% in September 2018 compared to the September 2017 and up +3.5% for the first three quarters of 2018 compared to the same timeframe in 2017.

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

Jan. – Sept. 2018

Jan. – Sept. 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