Publishers’ Net Revenue and Growth for First Half of 2015

AAPThe Association of American Publishers (AAP) released statistics on industry sales and revenue for January to July 2015.

During that period, publishers’ trade book sales were up by 0.3 percent, compared to the same period during the previous year. July, in particular, was a strong month for trade books, with adult, children/YA, and religious presses having double-digit growth in comparison to July, 2014.

However, the increase in July’s trade sales is not indicative of an overall increase in sales, according to the AAP.

Overall publisher revenue during the seven-month period was $83.7 billion, down 2 percent from the previous year. These numbers include sales for all tracked categories, including Trade (fiction, Nnn-fiction, religious, K-12 instructional materials, higher education course materials, professional publishing and university presses).

Publishers’ net revenue is tracked monthly by the AAP, and includes sales data from more than 1,200 publishers.

The following is a summary of the data released by the AAP of the different tracked publishing categories.


July proved to be a good month for all categories of trade books with sales growth across genres.

Adult books saw a 10.8-percent increase, children and YA books had an 11.5-percent increase, and religious presses a 14.6-percent increase, compared to to July 2014.

There was an overall growth in the category between January and July 2015, with an increase of 0.3 percent over the previous year and a net revenue of $3.67 billion.

Trade Formats:

Amongst the various trade formats, digital audio remained the fastest growing, with an increase of 31.2 percent in July, 2015 from July, 2014. The increasingly popular format has seen a 37-percent year-to-date growth over 2014.

Ebooks were down for the first seven months of the year at 11.2 percent, compared to the same timeframe in 2014. The bulk of the decline came from children/YA books, which saw a 44.7-percent decline from first seven months of 2014.

Similar to audio, hardcover books also saw an increase in sales in July, with a growth of 43.1 percent for the adult category and 6.9 percent for children/YA. However, ebooks experienced an overall decline by 6.6 percent in year-to-date growth.

Unlike hardcover, paperback experienced sales growth in July and overall. The sales growth for July in the adult category was 18.4 percent, and 23.6 percent in children/YA. The overall growth in the category ws 13.2 percent.

Educational Materials:

Overall, educational and instructional materials experienced a decline. For the first seven months of the year, K-12 instructional materials were down by 6.4 percent, and higher education course materials were down by 6 percent. Despite these numbers, there was a growth of 1.4 percent in the month of July.

Professional and Scholarly Publishing:

Sales for professional publishing—publishing material that includes business, medicine, law, scientific and technical books and journals—were up by 33.8 percent for the month of July and 23.4 percent for seven-month period. However, university presses were down by 0.7 percent compared to the previous year.

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