Press Release: Book Sales Down at the Start of 2016, Ebooks Decline
WASHINGTON, D.C. — June 27, 2016 — 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) book 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.
- Adult Books had $338.9 million in sales in Jan. 2016, down 12.9% from $389.2 million.
- Childrens/YA Books had $111.7 million in sales in Jan 2016, down 20.4% from $140.3 million.
- 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:
- Paperback books grew 4.3% to $169.3 million and downloaded audio grew 30.1% to $20.4 million.
- Ebooks were down 24.9% to $99.9 million and hardback book sales 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.
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.