Trade Publishers See First Sales Growth of 2015
According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP), July was a strong month for trade publishers. In its Monthly StatShot report, the AAP reported that sales grew .3% in the trade market from January to July 2015 -- the first increase in trade sales this year. Driving that growth were double-digit increases in adult, children/YA, and religious book sales in July.
Overall publisher revenue, including trade, education, and professional & scholarly publishing, decreased by 2% in the first seven months of 2015 to $8.37 billion. That decrease is in comparison to the same seven-month period in 2014.
What follows are a few highlights from the AAP’s report:
- Religious books saw the biggest sales increase in the trade segment, growing 14.6% compared to July 2014. Children/YA books experienced the second highest sales increase at 11.5%.
- The audiobook format grew significantly in July 2015. Sales surged 31.2% when compared to July 2014. Year-to-date, audiobook sales have grown 37% in comparison to the same seven-month period in 2014.
- Trade ebooks continued their decline, with sales down 11.4% in the first seven months of 2015. A 44.7% drop in children/YA ebooks sales during that same period contributed significantly to the decline.
- Education materials sales also declined in the first seven months of 2015. Pre-K course material revenues decreased 6.4% and higher education course material revenues decreased 6%.
- University presses experienced a slight dip in revenue year-to-date, down 0.7% when compared to 2014.
See the complete press release from the AAP below.
Washington, DC; Nov. 10, 2015 – Publishers’ book sales for trade (consumer) books from Jan. to July were up 0.3% compared to the same timeframe in 2014. July was a strong month for trade books, with Adult Books, Children/Young Adult Books and Religious Presses all showing double-digit growth over July 2014.
Despite the bump from July’s trade sales, overall publisher revenue for the seven-month period was $8.37 billion, down 2.0%. These numbers include sales for all tracked categories (Trade - fiction/non-fiction/religious, K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses). Publishers net revenue is tracked monthly by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and includes sales data from more than 1,200 publishers (#AAPStats).
July was a good month for all categories of trade books with sales growth in Adult Books (10.9%), Children/YA Books (11.5%) and Religious Presses (14.6%), compared to July 2014.
The trade category for Jan. – July 2015 showed slight growth for the first time this year as a whole at 0.3%, at $3.67billion.
Downloaded audio remained the fastest growing format, increasing 31.2% in July, compared to July 2014. This brings the year-to-date growth for this format to 37.0%, compared to the same timeframe in 2014.
Ebooks were down for the first seven months of the year at 11.2% compared to the same timeframe in 2014. The bulk of the decline comes from Children/YA Books, which has seen a 44.7% decline compared to the first seven months of 2014.
Hardback books had an upswing in sales this July, growing at 43.1% for Adult Books and 6.9% for Children/YA Books compared to July 2014. However, the year-to-date growth for this format is still down 6.6% overall for the year compared to the same timeframe in 2014.
Paperback books also had sales growth in July for Adult Books (18.4%) and Children/YA Books (23.6%), compared to July 2014. From Jan. – July, this category has grown 13.2% compared to the same timeframe in 2014.
Despite having a positive July, with growth of 1.4%, revenues for PreK-12 instructional materials were down by 6.4% the seven months of the year. Higher Education course materials were down 6.0%.
Professional and Scholarly Publishing:
Sales for Professional Publishing, which includes business, medical, law, scientific and technical books and journals, are up 33.8% in July and 23.4% for the year-to-date. University Presses were down slightly 0.7% year-over-year compared to the same seven months in 2014.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) is the voice of the U.S. book and journal publishing industry. AAP represents 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. Our four hundred member companies represent major commercial, educational and professional companies as well as independents, non-profits, university presses and scholarly societies.
Find us online at www.publishers.org or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.
Ellen Harvey is a freelance writer and editor who covers the latest technologies and strategies reshaping the publishing landscape. She previously served as the Senior Editor at Publishing Executive and Book Business.