AAP StatShot: Publisher Trade Book Sales Up 3.4% in April, Overall Sales Down Year-to-Date
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) released its book sales report for April 2016, surveying 1,200 publishers in the consumer, educational, and professional segments of the industry. The results represent publishers’ net revenue for the month, not retail sales. Overall book sales continue to drop with publishers reporting a 4.3% revenue decline from April 2015 to April 2016. Read the full report from the AAP below.
August 29, 2016 — Trade books grew 3.4% in April, with double-digit growth in April 2016 vs. April 2015 in Childrens/YA (12.8%) and Religious Books (13.7%). Despite that, publishers’ revenues were down 7.0% in April 2016, and 4.3% for the year-to-date vs. the same timeframes in 2015.
- Publishers’ book sales for April 2016 were $729.6 million, down 7.0% from April 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 4.3% to $2.85 billion the same four months in 2015.
- Trade (consumer) books sales were $534.7 million in April 2016, up 3.4% from April 2015. Year-to-date, trade is down 4.5% compared to the same time in 2015. Trade numbers include Childrens/YA Books, Adult Books and Religious Books.
- In April:
- Adult Books had $383.3 million in sales, flat (+ 0.1%) from 2015
- Childrens/YA Books had $118.0 million in sales, up 12.8%
- Religious Presses had $33.4 million in sales, up 13.7%
Trends for Trade by Format
- In April 2016 vs. April 2015:
- Paperback books grew 21.5%
- Downloaded audio grew 20.4%
- Hardback books grew 2.6%; interestingly, there was 24.2% growth in Children/YA and a 6.6% decline in Adult Books
- Ebooks were down 22.7%
- Year-to-date, paperback books (9.9%) and downloaded audio (31.4%) are the categories with the most growth.
Educational Materials and Professional Books
- Educational Materials were down 13.0% for PreK-12 Instructional Materials and 81.6% for Higher Education Course Materials, in April 2016 vs. April 2015. Year-to-date the numbers are more representative, with a decline of 3.6% for PreK-12 and growth of 3.7% in Higher Ed.
- Professional Publishing was down 9.0% in April 2016 vs April 2015. These categories include business, medical, law, scientific and technical books. University presses were down 8.7%. Both categories show declines year-to-date as well.
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.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) represents about four hundred member organizations including major commercial, digital learning and education and professional publishers alongside independents, non-profits, university presses and scholarly societies. We represent the industry’s priorities on policy, legislative and regulatory issues regionally, nationally and worldwide. These include the protection of intellectual property rights and worldwide copyright enforcement, digital and new technology issues, funding for education and libraries, tax and trade, censorship and literacy. Find us online at www.publishers.org or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.