March 3, 2021

Association of American Publishers Reports Revenues Up for Childrens/YA, Down For Professional Publishers in February 2016

New statistics released today by the Association of American Publishers (AAP).

From the News Release:

NOTE: 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.

Publishers’ revenues were up Feb. 2016, compared to Feb. 2015. Despite gains in Childrens/YA Books and Religious Presses, a decline in Adult Books meant an overall decline for Trade books of 0.9% Feb. 2016 vs. Feb. 2015 and 8.2% year-to-date vs. 2015.  Also within trade, downloaded audio and print formats continued to grow as eBooks declined.

Big Picture Data

  • Publishers’ book sales for Feb. 2016 were $662.2 million, up 4.2% from $597.4 million in Feb. 2015. These numbers include sales for all tracked categories (Trade – fiction/non-fiction/religious, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses.)
    • Year-to-date, sales were down 3.0% to $1.68 billion vs. the same two months in 2015.
  • Trade (consumer) books sales were $418.1 million in Feb. 2016, down 0.9% from $422.1 million in Feb. 2015. This includes Childrens/YA Books, Adult Books and Religious Books.
    • Adult Books had $281.5 million in sales in Feb. 2016, down 6.6% from $301.2 million in Feb. 2015.
    • Childrens/YA Books had $101.2 million in sales in Feb. 2016, up 17.0% from $86.5 million in Feb 2015.
    • Religious Presses had $35.4 million in sales, up by 3.2% from $34.3 million in Feb. 2015.
    • Year-to-date, trade sales are down 8.2% to $907.2 million vs. the same two months in 2015.

Format Trends for Trade

  • Trends appeared to continue from 2015. In Feb. 2016 vs. Feb. 2015:
    • Paperback books grew 9.8%
    • Downloaded audio grew 42.9%
    • Hardback books grew 4.6%
    • eBooks were down 18.7%

Educational Materials and Professional Books

  • Educational Materials had gains of 5.5% for K-12 Instructional Materials and 58.5% for Higher Education Course Materials, in Feb. 2016 vs. Feb. 2015. Importantly, education sales in Feb. are typically low, relative to the rest of the year.
  • Professional Publishing was down 19.0% in Feb. 2016 vs. Feb. 2015 which includes business, medical, law, scientific and technical books and journals.
About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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