Total trade revenues for the 1,200 odd publishers which submit their data to the AAP were down about 1% from February 2015 and down 8.2% for the Jan–Feb period. YA and religious presses were both up, but the 6.6% decline in adult trade revenues depressed the entire category.
In terms of formats, audiobook revenues continue to grow at their usual clip. Hardback and paperback revenues were up (4.6% and 9.8%, respectively).
And as expected, ebook revenues continued to decline. They were down 18.7% from February 2015.
Publishers’ revenues were up Feb. 2016, compared to Feb. 2015. Despite gains in Childrens/YA Books and Religious Presses, a decline in Adult Books meant an overall decline for Trade books of 0.9% Feb. 2016 vs. Feb. 2015 and 8.2% year-to-date vs. 2015. Also within trade, downloaded audio and print formats continued to grow as eBooks declined.
Big Picture Data
- Publishers’ book sales for Feb. 2016 were $662.2 million, up 4.2% from $597.4 million in Feb. 2015. These numbers include sales for all tracked categories (Trade – fiction/non-fiction/religious, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses.)
- Year-to-date, sales were down 3.0% to $1.68 billion vs. the same two months in 2015.
- Trade (consumer) books sales were $418.1 million in Feb. 2016, down 0.9% from $422.1 million in Feb. 2015. This includes Childrens/YA Books, Adult Books and Religious Books.
- Adult Books had $281.5 million in sales in Feb. 2016, down 6.6% from $301.2 million in Feb. 2015.
- Childrens/YA Books had $101.2 million in sales in Feb. 2016, up 17.0% from $86.5 million in Feb 2015.
- Religious Presses had $35.4 million in sales, up by 3.2% from $34.3 million in Feb. 2015.
- Year-to-date, trade sales are down 8.2% to $907.2 million vs. the same two months in 2015.
Format Trends for Trade
- Trends appeared to continue from 2015. In Feb. 2016 vs. Feb. 2015:
- Paperback books grew 9.8%
- Downloaded audio grew 42.9%
- Hardback books grew 4.6%
- eBooks were down 18.7%
Educational Materials and Professional Books
- Educational Materials had gains of 5.5% for K-12 Instructional Materials and 58.5% for Higher Education Course Materials, in Feb. 2016 vs. Feb. 2015. Importantly, education sales in Feb. are typically low, relative to the rest of the year.
- Professional Publishing was down 19.0% in Feb. 2016 vs. Feb. 2015 which includes business, medical, law, scientific and technical books and journals.
image by Phil Roeder