May 28, 2022

Books Publishing Statistics: Highlights from 2012 Edition of BookStats

via the Association of American Publishers:

The 2012 edition, released in July 2012, includes data provided by 1977 publishers from all four industry sectors: Trade (fiction and non-fiction for adults and children), School/K-12, Higher Education and Professional/Scholarly Publishing. The survey is available for purchase in three versions: as a customizable interactive online dashboard, an executive summary providing major highlights and a full in-depth report including each area’s granular data.

Among the key highlights that emerged in BookStats 2012:

  • In the overall Trade sector (encompassing Fiction and Non-Fiction for
    Children, Young Adults and Adults), eBooks’ net sales revenue more
    than doubled in 2011 vs 2010. This significant growth was particularly
    fueled by eBooks’ performance in the Adult Fiction segment where, for
    the first time, it ranked #1 for the year in net revenue among all
    individual print and electronic formats.
  • Among categories, both Religion and Children’s/Young Adults showed
    strong growth while Children’s/YA ranked as the fastest-growing category
    in publishing in 2011.
  • Despite the negative impact of Borders’ bankruptcy and closures, particularly on print book sales, through three quarters of 2011, the Trade market held up equal with 2010 revenue figures, even showing a slight increase.
  • Brick-and-mortar retail remains the #1 sales distribution channel for
    publishers in 2011, as it did in 2010. Publishers’ revenue from
    direct-to-consumer sales nearly doubled, topping $1 billion
    for the first time.

See Also: U.S. Book Sales Declined in 2011 Despite Rise in E-Books (via Bloomberg)

The U.S. book market declined 2.5 percent in 2011 as sales of e-books, which are lower priced than printed works, more than doubled within the category that includes fiction and nonfiction.

Publishers generated $27.2 billion in book sales, down from $27.9 billion in 2010, according BookStats, an annual report produced by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group. Units sold rose 3.4 percent to 2.77 billion.


Online retail grew 35 percent to $5.04 billion. Revenue for publishers selling directly to consumers through websites almost doubled to $1.11 billion, according to the report.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.