AAP StatShot: US Industry Was Up 1.8 Percent in October

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The AAP StatShot report for October shows US book publishing revenues at US$10.6 billion in the first 10 months of 2023.

An October day on the Katy Trail at Rocheport, Missouri. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Marek Uliasz

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

Year-to-Date Revenues were up 0.7 Percent in October
In its October 2023 StatShot report released this morning (January 9), the Association of American Publishers (AAP) cites total revenues across all categories up 1.8 percent over October 2022.

Year-to-date revenues, the AAP reports, were up 0.7 percent at US$10.6 billion for the first 10 months of 2023.

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

Trade Revenues

Year-Over-Year Numbers

Trade revenues were up 1.3 percent in October over the same month in 2022, at $975.0 million.

Image: Association of American Publishers

In print formats:

  • Hardback revenues were down 2.3 percent, coming in at $441.8 million
  • Paperbacks were up 5.5 percent, with $301.1 million in revenue
  • Mass market was 44.4 percent to $10.4 million
  • Special bindings were up 3.7 percent, with $25.8 million in revenue

In digital formats:

  • Ebook revenues were 6.9 percent for the month as compared to October 2022 for a total of $86.2 million
  • The avidly watched digital audio format was up 8.6 percent for October 2023, coming in at $72.8 million in revenue
  • Physical audio was down 34.0 percent, coming in at $1.3 million

Year-to-Date Numbers

Year-to-date, the industry’s trade revenues were down 0.2 percent at $7.4 billion for the first 10 months of the year.
In print formats:

  • Hardback revenues were 1.0 percent, coming in at $2.7 billion
  • Paperbacks were down 1.5 percent, with $2.6 billion in revenue
  • Mass market was down 10.9 percent to $119.9 million
  • Special bindings were up 2.9 percent, with $169.1 million in revenue

In digital formats:

  • Ebook revenues were down 0.4 percent as compared to the first 10 months of 2022, for a total $836.1 million
  • The digital audio format was up 13.9 percent, at $699.2 million in revenue
  • Physical audio was down 16.0 percent, coming in at $10.5 million
Religious Press Performance

Year-Over-Year Numbers

Religious press revenues were 12.2 percent in October 2023, coming in at $85.8 million.

  • Hardback revenues were up 5.7 percent to $55.7 million in revenue
  • Paperback revenues were up 47.0 percent to $15.2 million
  • Ebook revenues were 0.9 percent, coming in at $4.3 million
  • Digital audio revenues were up 4.3 percent at $3.5 million

Year-to-Date Numbers

On a year-to date basis, religious press revenues were up 7.1 percent, at $674.2 million

  • Hardback revenues were up 6.2 percent at $402 million
  • Paperback revenues were 10.7 percent to $137.5 million
  • Ebook revenues were down 3.9 percent at $45.3 million
  • Digital audio revenues were up 6.2 percent at $37.3 million
Education

During October 2023, revenues from higher education course materials were up 9.4 percent for the month, as compared to October 2022, coming in at $198.2 million, while year-to-date higher education was up 4.0 percent, at $2.8 billion.

Professional Books

Professional books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were down 20.6 percent during the month, coming in at $36.6 million.

Year-to-date professional books revenues were $404.8 million, down 4.1 percent as compared to the first 10 months of 2022.

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 1,240 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.”


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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