StatShot: US Market Was Up 0.6 Percent in November, YTD

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

The year-to-date figures in the Association of American Publishers’ StatShot report show US revenues at $11.7 billion in November 2023.

At the Bryant Park Winter Village, a holiday themed market in Manhattan, November 2023. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Ryan Rahman

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

Digital Audio Up 15.3 Percent in November, Year Over Year
In today’s (February 6) release of its November 2023 StatShot report, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) cites total revenues across all categories down 0.5 percent as compared to November 2022. Year-to-date revenues, the AAP reports, were up 0.6 percent at US$11.7 billion.

Adult books in all formats in November 2023 netted 6.3 percent less than in November 2022. By contrast, books for children and young adults in all formats saw a rise of 8.8 percent, year over year, although in year-to-date terms, the children’s sector was down 3.3 percent.

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 0.2 percent in November over the same month last year, at $858.0 million.

In print formats:

  • Hardback revenues were up 2.0 percent, coming in at $368.8 million
  • Paperbacks were down 1.9 percent, with $262.5 million in revenue
  • Mass market was down 53.4 percent to $9.1 million
  • Special bindings were up 13.8 percent, with $22.7 million in revenue

In digital formats:

  • Ebook revenues were down 3.2 percent for the month as compared to November 2022 for a total of $81.8 million
  • The closely watched digital audio format was up 15.3 percent for November 2023─a strong percentage, even for this regularly robust format─coming in at $81.1 million in revenue
  • Physical audio was down 23.8 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 $8.2 billion for the first 11 months of the year.
In print formats:

  • Hardback revenues were up 1.2 percent, coming in at $3.0 billion
  • Paperbacks were down 1.6 percent, with $2.9 billion in revenue
  • Mass market was down 24.6 percent to $129.0 million
  • Special bindings were up 4.0 percent, with $191.9 million in revenue

In digital formats:

  • Ebook revenues were down 0.8 percent as compared to the first 11 months of 2022, for a total $917.5 million
  • The digital audio format was up 14.0 percent, at $782.0 million in revenue
  • Physical audio was down 16.9 percent, coming in at $11.8 million
Religious Press Performance

Year-Over-Year Numbers

Religious press revenues were up 16.7 percent in November, coming in at $83.9 million.

  • Hardback revenues were up 14.9 percent to $54.6 million in revenue
  • Paperback revenues were up 15.1 percent to $13.0 million
  • Ebook revenues were 4.2 percent, coming in at $4.8 million
  • Digital audio revenues were up 18.9 percent at $4.6 million

Year-to-Date Numbers

On a year-to date basis, religious press revenues were up 8.1 percent, reaching $758.3 million.

  • Hardback revenues were up 7.4 percent at $457.3 million in revenue
  • Paperback revenues were up 10.6 percent to $150.2 million
  • Ebook revenues were down 3.3 percent at $50.2 million
  • Digital audio revenues were up 7.3 percent at $41.8 million
Education

During November 2023, revenues from higher education course materials were down 1.6 percent for the month, as compared to November 2022, coming in at $117.0 million, while year-to-date higher education was up 3.7 percent, at $2.9 billion.

Professional Books

Professional books, including business, medical, law, technical, and scientific, were down 4.0 percent during the month, coming in at $33.6 million.

Year-to-date professional book revenues were $438.4 million, down 4.1 percent as compared to the first 11 months of 2022.

Methodology

We’ll quote here notes on the methodology for this report, editing 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.

“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.