The Association of American Publishers reported Thursday that publisher reported revenue fell in the first month of 2019. Combined revenue for trade (consumer) books was $543.8 million in January 2019, down 3.2% from January 2018. The adult books category fell to $352.5 million, down 7.3%, while kids/YA rose 4.3%, to $131.8 million, and religious presses rose 8.1%, to $53.8.
By format, revenue from sales of hardback books fell 7.8%, to $185.3 million, while paperback sales fell 5.7%, to $190.5 million. And ebook sales were down from last year, of course. They totaled $79.7 million.
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).
January Trade Book Revenue (in millions)
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)
|Paperback & Mass Market|
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)
|Higher Ed Course Materials|
|PreK-12 Instructional Materials|
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.