AAP’s November StatShot: US Revenues Down 6 Percent Year to Date

In News by Porter Anderson

The Association of American Publishers’ StatShot report shows the United States’ industry in November 2022 was down 14.4 percent, year-over-year.

Birders and surfers at Ocean City, Maryland, November 12, 2022. Image – Getty iStockphoto: JoesBoy

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

Year to Date, Revenues at US$11.6 Billion
In its November 2022 StatShot report, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) cites total revenues across all categories down 14.4 percent over November 2021, at US$1.0 billion. As happened throughout 2022, of course, observers look at these comparisons carefully, mindful that 2021 was the second year of the still ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic‘s effects on the marketplace, both in the States and abroad.

Year-to-date revenues, the AAP reports, were down 6 percent at US$11.6 billion for the first 11 months of the year.

As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the AAP’s numbers reflect reported revenue for tracked categories including trade (consumer books); higher education course materials; professional publishing; and university presses. Once more, the report does not include PreK-12 revenue because of delays in data collection.

Trade Revenues

In the aggregate, trade sales were down 13.7 percent in November, at $863.4.

Year-Over-Year Numbers

In print formats:

  • Hardback revenues were down 22.4 percent, coming in at $355.2 million
  • Paperbacks were down 5.4 percent, with $274.2 million in revenue
  • Mass market was 14.9 percent to $19.5 million
  • Special bindings were down 15.9 percent, with $20.0 million in revenue

In digital formats:

  • Ebook revenues were down 10.4 percent for the month as compared to November 2021 for a total of $83.1 million
  • The closely watched downloaded audio format was up 5.6 percent for November 2022, coming in at $73.9 million in revenue
  • Physical audio was down 33.7 percent, coming in at $1.7 million

Year-to-Date Numbers

  • Year-to-date, the industry’s trade revenues were down 6.1 percent, at $8.4 billion for the first 11 months of the year.

In print formats:

  • Hardback revenues were 14.1 percent, coming in at $3.0 billion
  • Paperbacks were up 1.3 percent, with $3.0 billion in revenue
  • Mass market was down 23.8 percent to $170.9 million
  • Special bindings were down 4.3 percent, with $185.7 million in revenue

In digital formats:

  • Ebook revenues were down 6.3 percent as compared to the first 11 months of 2022, for a total $928.0 million
  • The downloaded audio format was up 7.2 percent, at $767,0 million in revenue
  • Physical audio was down 30.5 percent, coming in at $14.5 million
Religious Press Performance

Year-Over-Year Numbers

Religious press revenues were down 6.5 percent in November, coming in at $71.0 million.

  • Hardback revenues were down 3.7 percent to $46.5 million in revenue
  • Paperback revenues were down 14.4 percent to $10.2 million
  • Ebook revenues were down 32.2 percent, coming in at $4.5 million
  • Downloaded audio revenues were down 6.4 percent at $3.9 million

Year-to-Date Numbers

On a year-to date basis, religious press revenues were down 6.2 percent, reaching $697.3 million.

  • Hardback revenues were 6.9 percent at $416.8 million in revenue
  • Paperback revenues were 8.6 percent to $115.6 million
  • Ebook revenues were 12.6 percent at $51.3 million
  • Downloaded audio revenues were up 4.9 percent at $38.9 million
Education

During November 2022, revenues from higher education course materials were down 19.2 percent at 117.8 million, as compared to November 2021,  while year-to-date higher education course materials were down 6.0 percent, at $2.8 billion, compared to the first 11 months of 2021.

Professional Books

Professional books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific titles, were down 7.4 percent during the month, coming in at $37.3 million.

Year-to-date professional books revenues were $404.4 million, down 3.9 percent as compared to the first 11 months of 2021.

Methodology

We’ll quote here notes on the 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 1,368 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:

  • “The pool of StatShot participants may fluctuate from report to report
  • “Like 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, which factors into how comparisons to performance in 2021 are seen, is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson 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 (Fellow, 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.