Highlights include paperbacks being up 12.2% year-to-date, and ebooks being down 11%. Total revenue was down 2.3%, to$10.4 billion, and trade book revenues were down 1.1% year-to-date.
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Publishers’ book sales for trade (consumer) books from January to August were down 1.1% compared to the same timeframe in 2014. Overall publisher revenue for the eight-month period was $10.4 billion, down 2.3%. These numbers include sales for all tracked categories (Trade - fiction/non-fiction/religious, K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses). Publishers net revenue is tracked monthly by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and includes sales data from more than 1,200 publishers (#AAPStats).
While July showed some growth from Trade books, sales struggled again in August. Adult Books were down 11.3% and Children’s /YA Books were down 5.8% for the month, compared to August 2014. The category is down 7.0% for the month and 1.1% for the year-to-date compared to the same period in 2014.
However, Religious Presses were a bright spot, and recorded its best number of the year, up 41.7% in August compared to August 2014. Within this category, Hardback Books led the growth with an 86.6% increase compared to the previous August. Overall, the category is still down for the year-to-date.
Downloaded audio and paperback remain the formats with the most growth. Downloaded audio increased 43.3% in August, compared to August 2014. This brings the year-to-date growth for this format to 37.8%, compared to the same timeframe in 2014. Paperback Books showed growth in all trade categories, and is up 12.2% year-to-date compared to the same time in 2014.
eBooks were down for the first eight months of the year at 11.0% compared to the same timeframe in 2014. The bulk of the decline continues to come from Children/YA Books, which has seen a 44.5% decline compared to the first eight months of 2014, compared to decline in Adult Books of 4.5%.
Hardback Books were down 7.7% year-to-date compared to the same timeframe last year.
Revenues for PreK-12 instructional materials were down by 5.1% and Higher Education course materials were down 4.2% through August compared to the same timeframe in 2014.
Professional and Scholarly Publishing:
Sales for Professional Publishing, which includes business, medical, law, scientific and technical books and journals, are up 15.4% for the year-to-date. University Presses were down 1.7% year-over-year compared to the same eight months in 2014.
image by Paul Schadler