Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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US adult book and university press sales up; audio sales grow significantly

The Association of American Publishers’ (AAP) annual StatShot survey estimated that US publishers’ revenue for trade books increased by US$96 million (A$128.7 million) to US$7.6 billion (A$10.19 billion)—a 1.3% increase—in 2017. Growth in the trade sector was attributed to a three percent revenue increase in the adult books category, which comprises more than 65% of all revenue for trade books.

Overall publisher revenue saw a marginal increase from US$14.6 billion (A$19.57 billion) in 2016 to US$14.7 billion (A$19.7 billion) in 2017.

Revenue from print books was up about one percent, totalling US$5.8 billion (A$7.7 billion) in 2017. Revenue grew for hardback books—trade books’ most popular format—which was up by US$83.9 million (A$112.5 million). This offset a US$4.8 million (A$6.4 million) decline in paperback books (down by 0.2%).

Downloaded audio, which was up 25.8% in 2016, continued to grow significantly in 2017 with publisher revenue increasing 29.7%. This category has nearly tripled in the past five years. For the first time since AAP began measuring the category, revenue passed the US$300 million mark for the year, reaching US$343 million (A$459.9 million) in 2017, and overtaking mass market books in revenue.

The decline of ebook sales appears to be slowing down, with a 4.7% drop in 2017 that is significantly less than the double-digit declines previously recorded in 2015 and 2016. Ebook sales for adult books were in decline, while Children’s/YA saw a drop in revenue across both print and ebook formats.

After two years of decline, both university presses and professional books saw revenue growth, with university presses up 5.3% and professional books up 8.4%.

The StatShot Annual Report is a yearly statistical survey of publishing’s estimated size and scope. It uses yearly sales data from almost 1200 publishers, and makes estimates for publishers who don’t participate based on company financial reports, government filings and other third-party sources. The AAP’s estimates on 2017 sales, released in February, reflected only the sales reported by the 1204 publishers participating in the monthly StatShot program.



Category: International news