AAP’s September StatShot: US Book Market Up 0.8 Percent YTD

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US trade book revenue was down 0.1 percent year-to-date, and down 0.4 percent for September YTD, in the AAP’s StatShot report.

Near Georgetown, Colorado, among aspens at Guanella Pass in the Rocky Mountains, September 29. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Sean Xu

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

See also: APA: Audiobooks’ US Share Up 5 Percent, 2017 to 2022

Overall US Industry Flat for Month of September
In its September 2o23 StatShot report released this morning (December 12), the Association of American Publishers (AAP) cites total revenues across all categories to have been flat as compared to September 2022, at US1.4 billion.

The American market’s year-to-date revenues, the AAP reports, were up 0.8 percent at US$9.4 billion for the first nine months of the year.

As Katy Hershberger at Publishers Lunch today is noting, children’s books continued to gain in September, up 5.2 percent over the same month in 2022, sales this year reaching $272.8 million.

Publishing Perspectives readers know, that the AAP’s numbers reflect reported revenue for tracked categories including trade (consumer books); higher education course materials; and professional publishing.

Trade Book Revenues

Year-Over-Year Numbers
Trade revenues were down 0.4 percent in September over the same month last year, at $905.9 million.

Association of American Publishers

In print formats:

  • Hardback revenues were up 7.2 percent, coming in at $379 million
  • Paperbacks were down 4.9 percent, with $299.1 million in revenue
  • Mass market was down 39.5 percent to $11.3 million
  • Special bindings were up 11.8 percent, with $27.1 million in revenue

In digital formats:

  • Ebook revenues were down 1.8 percent for the month as compared to September 2022, for a total of $85.2 million
  • The closely monitored digital audio format was up 3.2 percent for September 2022, coming in at $69.9 million in revenue
  • Physical audio was down 24.4 percent, coming in at $1.2 million

Year-to-Date Numbers
Year-to-date, the book industry’s trade revenues were down 0.1 percent, at $6.4 billion for the first nine months of the year.

In print formats:

  • Hardback revenues were up 2.4 percent, coming in at $2.2 billion
  • Paperbacks were down 2.2 percent, with $2.3 billion in revenue
  • Mass market was up down 23.4 percent to $109.5 million
  • Special bindings were up 2.7 percent, with $143.4 million in revenue
Related article: APA: Audiobooks' US Share Up 5 Percent, 2017 to 2022, an interview with the Audio Publishers Association's Michele Cobb. Image: Michele Cobb, Audio Publishers Association

Related article: APA: Audiobooks’ US Share Up 5 Percent, 2017 to 2022, an interview with the Audio Publishers Association’s Michele Cobb. Image: Michele Cobb, APA

In digital formats:

  • Ebook revenues were down 1.2 percent as compared to the first nine months of 2022, for a total $749.9 million
  • The digital audio format was up 14.5 percent, at $628.3 million in revenue
  • Physical audio was down 12.8 percent, coming in at $9.3 million
Religious Press Performance

Year-Over-Year Numbers

Religious press revenues were 12/6 percent in September, coming in at $79.1 million.

  • Hardback revenues were up 17.0 percent to $51.8 million in revenue
  • Paperback revenues were 8.5 percent to $14.4 million
  • Ebook revenues were down 5.2 percent, coming in at $4.1 million
  • Digital audio revenues were up 9.6 percent at $3.5 million

Year-to-Date Numbers

On a year-to date basis, religious press revenues were up 7.5 percent, reaching $583.8 million.

  • Hardback revenues were up 9.2 percent at $345.9 million in revenue
  • Paperback revenues were up 4.6 percent to $118.5 million
  • Ebook revenues were down 4.5 percent at $40.7 million
  • Digital audio revenues were up 6.4 percent at $33.8 million
Education

During September, revenues from higher education course materials were up 0.7 percent for the month, as compared to September 2022, coming in at $454.2 million, while year-to-date higher education course materials were up 3.6 percent, at $2.6 billion.

Professional Books

Professional books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were up 1.4 percent during the month, coming in at $37.9 million.

Year-to-date professional book revenues were $368.5 million, down 2.1 percent as compared to the first nine months of 2022.

Methodology

We’ll quote here notes on the methodology for this report. We’ve edited only slightly, 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 1,240 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 US market 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.

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