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AAP Reports Publisher Book, eBook Sales Down in January 2016

26488983091_f90e9d2097_hBookstore retail sales may have been up in January 2016 and for the previous calendar year, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that from the AAP’s January revenue stats.

The Association of American Publishers announced on Monday that total revenues for its member publishers had dropped in January 2016, to under a billion dollars.

Trade books were down 13.7%, to $488 million, with both adult and YA segments reporting double digit losses (religious presses posted a 4% increase as a result of people researching whether Trump’s campaign was a sign of the end times).

In terms of formats, paperback sales were up, while hardback sales and ebooks sales both declined precipitously. eBook sales fell 25%, possibly due to digital fatigue.

aap logoYou can find the publicly available stats below. The figures of course only reflects the revenues of the 1,200 odd publishers which submit their data to the AAP; it does not reflect the market as a whole.


Press release:

Publishers’ revenues were down Jan. 2016, compared to Jan.2015. Trade publishing had double-digit declines in Childrens/YA Books and Adult Books, while Religious Presses had modest gains. Notably, eBook sales had another steep decline with reporting publisher sales declining nearly 25%, compared to Jan. 2015.


Big Picture Data:

  • Publishers’ book sales for Jan. 2016 were $991.7 million, down 6.7% from $1.06 billion in Jan. 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.)
  • Trade (consumer) books sales were $488.0 million in Jan. 2016, down 13.7% from $565.4 million in Jan. 2015. This includes Childrens/YA Books, Adult Books and Religious Books.

o   Adult Books had $338.9 million in sales in Jan. 2016, down 12.9% from $389.2 million.

o   Childrens/YA Books had $111.7 million in sales in Jan 2016, down 20.4% from $140.3 million.

o   Religious Presses grew by 4.2%, up to $37.5 million from $36.0 million.

Format Trends for Trade

  • Trends appeared to continue from 2015. In Jan. 2016 vs Jan. 2015:

o   Paperback books grew 4.3% to $169.3 million and downloaded audio grew  30.1% to $20.4 million.

o   eBooks were down 24.9% to $99.9 million and hardback books declined 18.7% to $151.3 million.

Educational Materials and Professional Books

  • Educational Materials had gains of 7.9% for K-12 Instructional Materials and 2.2% for Higher Education Course Materials, in Jan. 2016 vs Jan. 2015.
  • Professional Publishing was down 19.8% in Jan. 2016 vs Jan. 2015 which includes business, medical, law, scientific and technical books and journals.

About StatShot


Publisher net revenue is tracked monthly by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and includes sales data from more than 1,200 publishers (#AAPStats). Figures represent publishers’ net revenue for the U.S. (i.e. what publishers sell to bookstores, direct to consumer, online venues, etc.), and are not retailer/consumer sales figures.

image by Jorge Franganillo

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Fjtorres June 27, 2016 um 5:54 pm

Digital fatigue?
Not HPB? High pricing phobia?

Nate Hoffelder June 27, 2016 um 6:28 pm

I was joking – although I rather like your idea as well.

Fjtorres June 27, 2016 um 9:03 pm

Should be HPP, though; it’s an allergic reaction to BPHs.

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