AAP’s October StatShot: US Revenues Down 5.1 Percent Year to Date

In News by Porter Anderson

The Association of American Publishers’ StatShot report shows the US industry in October was down 9.3 percent, year-over-year.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, October 15, 2022. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Mark Castiglia

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

Year to Date, Revenues at US$10.6 Billion
Continuing this week to recoup some of the news that came to us during our winter publishing break, today (January 6), we have the latest of the StatShot reports, which looks at the United States’ market performance in October 2022. As you’ll remember, these reports from the Association of American Publishers (AAP) move several months behind the calendar.

We also frequently carry NPD Books reports on the performance of the influential United States market in international circles.

In the October 2022 StatShot report, total revenues across all categories were listed as being down 9.3 percent over October 2021. As has happened throughout 2022, of course, observers look at year-over-year comparisons carefully, mindful that 2021 was the second year of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic‘s effects on the marketplace, both in the States and abroad.

Year-to-date revenues, the AAP reports, were down 5.1 percent at US$10.6 billion. 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 doesn’t include PreK to 12 data because of what’s cited as delays in data collection.

Trade Revenues

Image: Association of American Publishers

Year-Over-Year Numbers In print formats:

  • Hardback revenues were down 16.7 percent, coming in at $443.8 million
  • Paperbacks were down 14.2 percent, with $296.8 million in revenue
  • Mass market was down 65.7 percent to $7.2 million
  • Special bindings were down 8.5 percent, with $25.0 million in revenue

In digital formats:

  • Ebook revenues were down 2.1 percent for the month as compared to October 2021 for a total of $82,9 million
  • The reliable downloaded audio format was up 16.4 percent for October 2022, coming in at $74.9 million in revenue
  • Even physical audio was up 16.2 percent, coming in at $1.9 million

Year-to-Date Numbers

  • Year-to-date, the industry’s trade revenues were  down 5.1 percent, at $7.5 billion for the first 10 months of the year.

In print formats:

  • Hardback revenues were down 12.9 percent, coming in at $2.6 billion
  • Paperbacks were up 2.1 percent, with $2.7 billion in revenue
  • Mass market was up down 24.8 percent to $151.4 million
  • Special bindings were down 2.7 percent, with $165.7 million in revenue

In digital formats:

  • Ebook revenues were 5.9 percent as compared to the first 10 months of 2021, for a total $844.8 million
  • The downloaded audio format was up 7.4 percent, at $693 million in revenue
  • Physical audio was down 30.0 percent, coming in at $12.8 million
Religious Press Performance

Year-Over-Year Numbers Religious press revenues were down 6.1 percent in October 2022, coming in at $76.4 million.

  • Hardback revenues were 2.4percent to $51.7 million in revenue
  • Paperback revenues were 24.6 percent to $9.1 million
  • Ebook revenues were 7.6 percent, coming in at $4.3 million
  • Downloaded audio revenues were 21.0 percent at $3.3 million

Year-to-Date Numbers On a year-to date basis, religious press revenues were 6.2 percent, reaching $626.3 million.

  • Hardback revenues were 7.3 percent at $370.3 million in revenue
  • Paperback revenues were down 8.0 percent to $105.4 million
  • Ebook revenues were 10.0 percent at $46.8 million
  • Downloaded audio revenues were up 6.2 percent at $35.0 million
Education

In October 2022, revenues from higher education course materials were up 19.1 percent for the month, as compared to October 2021, coming in at $181.1 million, while year-to-date higher education was down 5.3 percent, at $2.6 billion.

Professional Books

Professional books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were up 9.6 percent during the month, coming in at $48.7 million. Year-to-date professional books revenues were $367.1 million, down 3.5 percent as compared to the first 10 months of 2021.

Methodology

We’ll quote here the proverbial fine print provided on methodology for this report editing only to minimize any 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
  • “As in 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 United States’ market is hereMore from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing, which factors into how comparisons are seen to performance in 2021, 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.