May 17, 2022

Association of American Publishers (AAP) Reports “Double Digit Growth for Trade Publishers in November 2018”

From AAP:

2019-01-15_15-02-04Publishers saw double-digit growth in all categories of trade books -Adult Books (+19.6%), Children’s/Young Adult (+17.3%) and Religious Presses (+14.1%) in November 2018 compared to November 2017. Revenue for trade books (sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc.) totaled $7.29 billion for the year-to-date (Jan. – Nov. 2018), up by $330.3 million (+4.7%) compared to the same timeframe in 2017.

In November 2018, overall publisher revenue increased by $167.5 million, (+15.3%) for all tracked categories (Trade, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses) compared to November 2017. This brings the year-to-date total to $13.53 billion, up $42.3 million (+0.3%) from the same timeframe in 2017.

Trade Publishing

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

Jan. – Nov. 2018

Jan. – Nov. 2017

Percent Change

Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction








Religious Presses








While all three categories of trade books saw increased revenue, the industry’s largest category – Adult Books – grew the most. With a revenue increase of $101.5 million (19.6%), Adult Books saw greater growth in November than in any other month in 2017. The month’s growth contributed to a $230.2 million (5.1%) increase in publisher revenue for the year-to-date for Adult Books, with most of the growth from sales of hardback books (+36.3%).

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

Jan. – Nov. 2018

Jan. – Nov. 2017

Percent Change





Paperback & Mass Market








Downloaded Audio




Physical Audio




Board Books








Hardback books benefitted the most from the uptick in trade book revenue, with +28.5% growth compared to November 2017. Downloaded audio also continued its significant growth in November, up +31.6%.

While they didn’t grow as much as they had in October, eBooks also benefitted from November’s revenue increase with +1.0% growth for the month compared to 2017. The growth came from a revenue increase of Children’s/Young Adult eBooks (+13.2%) and Religious Presses (+19.0%), balancing out the format’s decline (-0.7%) in Adult Books.

Education and Scholarly Publishing

Revenues for education and scholarly publishers were mixed in November, with revenue growth of +8.0% in Higher Ed and +25.4% in Professional Books, and declines in PreK-12 (-7.4%) and University Presses (-15.9%) compared to November 2017. With the exception of Professional Books, the year-to-date (Jan. – Nov.) revenue in all these categories remained down in 2018 compared to the same timeframe in 2017.

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

Jan. – Nov. 2018

Jan. – Nov. 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 1,375 publishers, with participation subject to change over time.


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.