StatShot: US Industry Down 12.6 Percent in April; 2.3 Percent Year-to-Date

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The StatShot report from AAP shows United States trade book industry revenues falling 8.9 percent in April and 1 percent year-to-date.

Image – Getty iStockphoto: Slawomir Wojcik

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

See also: NPD BookScan for June: Another View of the US Market

Trade Sales Down 8.9 Percent in April
In its April 2022 StatShot report released this morning (July 11), the Association of American Publishers (AAP) cites total revenues across all categories down 12.6 percent over April of 2021, at US$788.3 million.

The April figures exclude PreK-12, but include higher education course materials; professional publishing; and university presses. PreK-12 data has, once again, been delayed, and the program expects to update when it becomes available.

In year-to-date revenues across all categories except PreK-12, AAP reports that the numbers were down 2.3 percent, at US$3.8 billion for the first four months of 2022.

Trade Revenues

Year Over Year Numbers

Trade (consumer books) sales were down 8.9 percent in April, at US$685.7 million

Image: AAP

In print formats:

  • Hardback revenues were down  16.8 percent, coming in at $232.4 million
  • Paperbacks were down 2.8 percent, with $251.9 million in revenue
  • Mass market was down 22.0 percent to $14.1 million
  • Special bindings were up 2.1 percent, with $12.5 million in revenue

In digital formats:

  • Ebook revenues were down 8.3 percent for the month as compared to April 2021, for a total of $84.3 million
  • The downloaded audio format was up 5.6 percent for April, coming in at $66.6 million in revenue
  • Physical audio was down 47.9 percent, coming in at $1.2 million

As we point out with each of these reports, amid the perfectly understandable enthusiasm for downloaded audio, it’s good for perspective to note that in April’s figures, downloaded audio accounts for 9.7 percent of the overall trade market in this April assessment. For a nearby comparison, you’ll see that ebooks came in at 12.3 percent.

Year-to-Date Numbers

Year-to-date, the industry’s trade revenues were down 1.0 percent, at $2.8 billion for the first four months of the year.

In print formats:

  • Hardback revenues were down 6.8 percent, coming in at $974.0 million
  • Paperbacks were up 9.6 percent, with $1.0 billion in revenue
  • Mass market was down 20.5 percent to $63.6 million
  • Special bindings were down 2.0 percent, with $56.1 million in revenue

In digital formats:

  • Ebook revenues were down 9.7 percent as compared to the first four months of 2021 for a total of $338.1 million
  • The downloaded audio format was up 3.4 percent, coming in at $261.1 million
  • Physical audio was down 31.5 percent coming in at $4.9 million in revenue
Religious Press Performance

Year Over Year Numbers

Religious press revenues were down 13.1 percent in April, coming in at $48.6 million.

  • Hardback revenues were down 15.4 percent to $26.4 million in revenue
  • Paperback revenues were down 13.1 percent to $7.0 million
  • Ebook revenues were down 12.6 percent coming in at $5.2 million
  • Downloaded audio revenues were up 4.2 percent at $3.2 million

Year-to-Date Numbers

On a year-to-date basis, religious press revenues were down 6.9 percent, reaching $235.6 million.

  • Hardback revenues were down 10.0 percent at $133.5 million in revenue
  • Paperback revenues were up 4.2 percent to $38.7 million
  • Ebook revenues were down 13.3 percent at $21.7 million
  • Downloaded audio revenues were down 7.4 percent at $13.1 million
Education

During April 2022, revenues from higher education course materials were $59.9 million, down 43.2 percent compared with April 2021.

Year-to-date higher education course materials revenues were $797.4 million, down 5.5 percent compared to the first four months of 2021.

Professional Books

Professional books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were down 2.4 percent during the month, coming in at $34.2 million.

Year-to-date professional book revenues were $124.6 million, down 8.6 percent as compared to the first four months of 2021.

Methodology

We’ll quote here the proverbial fine print provided on methodology for this report. We’ve edited only slightly, to minimize promotional language and to do away with a few institutional capitalizations.

“AAP StatShot reports the monthly and yearly net revenue of publishing houses from US sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct-to-consumer, online retailers, and other channels. StatShot draws revenue data from approximately 1,366 publishers, although participation may fluctuate slightly from report to report.

“StatShot reports are designed to give ongoing revenue snapshots across publishing sectors using the best data currently available. The reports reflect participants’ most recent reported revenue for current and previous periods, enabling readers to compare revenue on both a month-to-month and year-to-year basis within a given StatShot report.

“Monthly and yearly StatShot reports may not align completely across reporting periods, because: (a) The pool of StatShot participants may fluctuate from report to report; and (b) as with any business, it’s common accounting practice for publishing houses to update and restate their previously reported revenue data. If, for example, a business learns that its revenues were greater in a given year than its reports first indicated, it will restate the revenues in subsequent reports to AAP, permitting AAP in turn to report information that is more accurate than previously reported.”


More from Publishing Perspectives on industry statistics is here. More on the Association of American Publishers is here, more of our coverage of AAP StatShot reports is here, and more on the US market is here.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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