Book Publisher Revenue Estimated at $25.8 Billion in 2018
From the Association of American Publishers:
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) issued its StatShot Annual Report for Calendar Year 2018 today, which concludes that the U.S. book publishing industry generated an estimated $25.82 billion in net revenue, representing 2.71 billion units. All figures represent publishers’ net revenue from tracked categories (trade, higher education course materials, preK-12 instructional materials, professional books, and university press), in all formats, from all distribution channels. These are not retailer/consumer sales figures.
Publishing revenue for trade books (fiction, non-fiction, and religious presses) increased slightly (1.5%) to $16.19 billion in 2018. Since 2014, publisher revenue for trade books, the industry’s largest category, has increased by about $760 million.
Publisher Revenue in Billions 2014 – 2018
Highlights From the Report
Non-fiction books (both adult and children’s & young adult) experienced the largest percentage revenue growth for publishers over the past five years. Adult non-fiction revenues grew 22.8% and children’s & young adult non-fiction revenues grew 38.5% from 2014 – 2018. Unit sales for adult non-fiction and children’s & young adult non-fiction grew 20.9% and 17.8%, respectively, over the same five-year period.
For the second consecutive year, publisher sales to online retail channels exceeded sales to physical retail channels with sales to online retail at $8.03 billion and sales to physical retail at $6.90 billion.
Publisher revenue for adult fiction was flat (0.4%) at $4.40 billion in 2018, while children’s & young adult fiction grew slightly (1.6%) to $3.72 billion.
Religious presses revenue grew 14.7% in 2018 to $1.22 billion with 75.7% of the revenue coming from print formats.
Unit sales for fiction for children’s & young adults declined by 0.8%, while non-fiction for children’s & young adults increased by 0.4%. Publisher revenue for children’s & young adult fiction has grown by 1.6% to $3.72 billion and non-fiction has increased by 11.9% to around $730 million.
Downloaded audio remained the fastest growing format, with 28.7% year-over-year revenue growth from 2017 to 2018 and 181.8% revenue growth over the past five years (2014 – 2018).
Within online retail channels, 45.1% of publishers’ sales were trade print formats, 24.5% were eBooks, 14.5% were instructional materials, 13.7% were downloaded audio, and 2.2% were physical audio or a different format.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.