AAP Reports Print Up, eBooks Down 16.2% Through November 2016

The Association of American Publishers reported on Friday that its members had just about managed to supplant their ongoing decline in ebook sales with print sales.

great job at treading water, guys, but don’t you think it would be better to grow revenues rather than fight to keep them from declining?

Press release:

Trade publisher revenue was up in all categories (Adult, Childrens/YA and Religious Presses) in Nov. 2016 vs. Nov. 2015, according to the most recent StatShot data from the Association of American Publishers. The 10.2% growth for the month was split between a 6.8% bump in the largest trade category – Adult Books (up $32.6 million) and double-digit growth of 16.2% in Childrens/YA (up $30.7 million) and 21.7% in Religious Presses (up $9.5 million). From Jan. – Nov. 2016, revenues from Trade Books were flat, with 0.5% growth, compared to the same 11 months in 2015.

While the educational and course material market continued to struggle, with declining revenues for Nov. 2016, the growth in Trade Books offset it and overall publisher revenue in all tracked categories was positive for the month – up 1.7%. Year-to-date, the revenues remained down by 5.7% compared to the same 11 months in 2015.

StatShot tracks revenues for 1,200 publishers in the following categories: Trade – fiction/non-fiction/religious, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses. Publisher revenues include sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc.

Trade Books

From Jan. – Nov. 2016 vs. the same time in 2015 trade books were flat at 0.5% growth year-to-date.

  • By Category:
    • Adult Books were down 2.1% to $4.4 billion
    • Childrens & YA Books were up 5.8% to $1.6 billion
    • Religious Presses were up 8.6% to $455.4 million
  • By Format
    • Paperback books grew 6.5% to $2.0 billion
    • Hardback books grew 2.1% $2.5 billion
    • Downloaded audio grew 29.2% to $244.1 million
    • eBooks were down 16.4% to $1.1 billion

Educational Materials and Professional Books

  • Educational Materials had a revenue loss of 9.0% for PreK-12 Instructional Materials and 11.5% for Higher Education Course Materials from Jan. – Nov. 2016 vs. the same time in 2015
  • Professional Publishing was down 21.1% From Jan. – Nov. 2016 vs. the same time in 2015. These categories include business, medical, law, scientific and technical books. University presses were down 2.5% for the 11 months.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


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