March 22, 2018

AAP Reports: “Book Publisher Revenues up 27.6% in October 2017″

From the Association of American Publishers (AAP):

2018-03-01_09-58-01Publishers saw increased revenues in October, up $251 million (+27.6%) for October 2017 vs October 2016. The strong month brings revenues for Jan. – Oct. 2017 to $12.44 billion, up +1.7% for the year-to-date. Every category saw an increase in revenues for Oct. 2017, which include sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc.)

Trade books are up +16.5% for Oct. 2017 vs Oct. 2016 and 1.6% year-to-date. The greatest growth in the trade category was adult books, which saw $123.5 million (+25.8%) revenue growth. Publishers report that the significant increase is due to several factors including the book debuts from well-known authors.

Total Trade Net Revenue by Category for Jan. – Oct. 2017 (in millions)*

Jan. – Oct. 2017 Jan. – Oct. 2016 Percent Change
Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction








Religious Presses




Total Trade




Trade Book Formats

In October, print books and audiobooks saw increased revenues, while eBooks declined in all categories except religious presses. The formats with the most significant growth in October were downloaded audio, up +41.4% and hardback books, up +25.1%.

From Jan. – Oct. for the year-to-date the hardback, board book and downloaded audio formats saw increased revenues.

Nine Month Total Trade Net Revenue by Format (in millions)*

Jan. – Oct. 2017 Jan. – Oct. 2016 Percent Change




Paperback & Mass Market








Downloaded Audio




Other (physical audio, board book)




Education and Scholarly Publishing

The education sector saw mixed results, with +5.4% growth in Higher Education Course Materials and a -3.4% decline in PreK-12 Instructional Materials from Jan – Oct. 2017.

Revenues for Professional Books increased by +41.1% for Oct. 2017 vs Oct 2016 and are up 10.2% year to date. University Presses increased +21.8% in October and 5.1% year-to-date.

About the Data

Publisher net revenue is tracked monthly by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and includes sales data from about 1,200 publishers. 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.


Gary Price 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.