January 25, 2017
Trade Book Sales Up 6.9% in August 2016 vs. August 2015, Marking Five Consecutive Months of Trade Book Growth
Publisher revenue growth in August came mostly from Adult Books, according to the latest StatShot data from the Association of American Publishers
Washington, DC; Jan. 25, 2017 – August marked the fifth consecutive month of growth in publisher revenue for trade books, helping the category earn a slight growth from Jan. to Aug. 2016 of 0.5% vs. the same timeframe in 2015.
While July 2016 showed a tremendous increase in the Childrens and Young Adult category of 31.1% compared to July 2015, that trend did not continue in August, and sales were down 1.3% vs. Aug. 2015. Instead, trade books growth came mostly from Adult Books, which was up 10.3%. Within Adult Books, all print formats saw double-digit revenue growth in Aug., including hardback (35.4%), paperback (12.5%) and mass market (22.5%), while eBooks continued their decline (-14.2%).
Overall publishers’ revenue for all tracked categories (Trade – fiction/non-fiction/religious, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses) were down 2.8% in Aug. 2016 vs. Aug. 2015. The revenue decline primarily occurred because of lower sales of educational books and learning resources.
Overview of Publisher Revenue
- From Jan. to Aug., sales in all tracked categories were down 6.7% to $9.7 billion vs. the same time in 2015. Tracked categories include: Trade – fiction/non-fiction/religious, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses.
Trade by Category
- From Jan. to Aug. trade sales were slightly up (0.5%) to $4.25 billion:
- Adult Books had $2.94 billion in sales, down 1.5%
- Children’s/YA Books had $1.02 billion in sales, up 5.0%
- Religious Presses had $284.3 million in sales, up by 6.7%
Trends for Trade by Format
- From Jan. to Aug. 2016 vs. 2015:
- Paperback books grew 8.8%
- Downloaded audio grew 28.9%
- Hardback books grew 4.1%
- eBooks were down 18.9%
Educational Materials and Professional Books
- Educational Materials had a revenue loss of 7.0% for K-12 Instructional Materials and 14.3% for Higher Education Course Materials from Jan. to Aug. 2016 vs. 2015.
- Professional Publishing was down 20.8% from Jan. to Aug. 2016 vs. the same time in 2015. These categories include business, medical, law, scientific and technical books. University presses were down 4.2% during the first eight months of 2016 vs. 2015.
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.
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 www.publishers.org or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.