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AAP reports Trade Revenues Up 1%, eBook Revenues Down Nearly 5% in First Quarter

The Association of American Publishers released its first report on the US book publishing industry this morning. Their data shows that overall publishing industry revenues increased 4.9% for the first three months of 2017.

Note: they have not released data on either January or February 2017, just this data on the first quarter.

Trade revenues were up just under a percent, largely due to increase in the adult and YA categories.

Curiously, that growth came entirely from hardback revenues, which increased by 8.2%. Both ebook and paperback revenues were down for the quarter (4.7% and 5.3%, respectively).

Press release:

Revenues for book publishers were $2.33 billion for the first quarter of 2017, a $108 million (4.9%) increase over the first quarter of 2016, according to the StatShot report from Association of American Publishers (AAP). Much of the growth is attributed to increased revenue in the two of the largest categories – Adult books and higher education course materials.

StatShot tracks publisher revenue for about 1,200 publishers of trade (fiction/non-fiction/religious), PreK-12 instructional materials, higher education course materials, university presses and professional books.

Trade Books

In the first quarter, trade books grew by about $13 million (0.9%) compared to the first quarter of 2016. Growth was consistent in January, February and March for Adult books as were the declines in Childrens/Young Adult and Religious Presses.

Total Trade Net Revenue by Category (in millions)*

Trade Book Formats

Publishers saw about $12 million in increased revenues from print books, mostly due to an 8.2% growth in hardback books, from the first quarter in 2016 to the first quarter in 2017. Revenues for digital formats were mixed, with downloaded audio growing 28.8% and eBooks declining by 5.3%.

Total Trade Net Revenue by Format (in millions)*

Education & Scholarly Publishing

Both education and scholarly publishers saw some increased revenues during the first quarter of 2017, compared to the first quarter of 2016.

Revenues for Higher Education course materials were up by $92 million (24.3%) to $470.2 million in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the first quarter in 2016. Revenues for Professional Publishing, which includes business, medical, law, scientific and technical books, were up by $5 million (4.5%) to $119.5 million.

Revenues for PreK-12 instructional materials declined slightly by 0.7% from $242.7 million to $241.0 million in 2016. University Press revenues were down by $309,000 (2.4%) compared to the first quarter of 2016.

Note: All figures represent publishers’ net revenue from all distribution channels (these are not retailer/consumer sales figures).

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