January 19, 2022

New Data From the Association of American Publishers: January 2019 Publisher Revenue for Consumer Trade Books Down 3.2% (vs. Jan 2018); Ebooks Down 4.9%; Education and Scholarly Publishing Off 4.8%

From AAP:

Overall participating publisher revenue for January 2019 declined from same period in 2018

In January 2019, publisher revenue for trade (consumer) books was $543.8 million, down -3.2% from January 2018, according to the Association of American Publishers StatShot Monthly report. Among the three trade book categories, increased revenue for Religious Presses (8.1%) and Children’s/Young Adult (4.3%) in January 2019, partially offset a decline in Adult Books (­-7.3%) for the same period in 2018. Revenue for trade books includes sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc.

Overall participating publisher revenue was $1.06 billion in January 2019, down from $1.11 billion in 2018 (-3.8%) for all tracked categories (Trade, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing and University Presses).

Trade Publishing

January Trade Book Revenue (in millions)


Jan. 2019

Jan. 2018

Percent Change

Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction








Religious Presses




Total Trade




The decline in Adult Books was largely due to a decline in revenue from hardback books. However, within Religious Presses, revenue for hardback books increased 19.0% from the prior year, while revenue for paperback books and eBooks declined. The Children’s and Young Adult category had increases in hardback, paperback, and board books in January 2019, accompanied by a decline in eBooks for the same period.

Downloaded audio remains the format with the highest percent revenue growth (36.1%), with double-digit increases in each of the three trade categories. eBook revenue continues to decline from prior years, down -4.9% in January 2019 from the same period in 2018.

January Trade Revenue by Format (in millions)


Jan. 2019

Jan. 2018

Percent Change





Paperback & Mass Market








Downloaded Audio




Physical Audio




Board Books








Total Trade




Education and Scholarly Publishing

Revenues for participating education and scholarly publishers declined in all categories (Higher Education, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Professional Books and University Presses) for January 2019 as compared to 2018.

January Education and Scholarly Publishing (in millions)


Jan. 2019

Jan. 2018

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. The StatShot Annual, Higher Education Annual, and PreK-12 Annual reports for 2017 are available for purchase; additional information about them can be found here.

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.