US trade publisher sales flat in first half of 2017, reports AAP

US trade publisher sales flat in first half of 2017, reports AAP

US publishers' trade book sales were flat for the first seven months of 2017, holding steady at $4,440.2m versus $4,442m for the same period (January - August) in 2016, according to statistics released by the Association of the American Publishers (AAP). 

The AAP's "StatShot" - which is based on sales data from about 1,200 publishers and represents publishers’ net revenue for the US - showed sales were marginally up, by 1%, in the month of August itself. This came from growth in Children's and Young Adult books (up 2.9%) and Religious Presses (up 7.8%).

Mostly print book format revenues were up in the month of August, but it was more mixed for the first seven months of the year on 2017. For January to August 2017, print sales of paperback and mass market declined by 2.3% to $1.744.9bn, but hardback books' increased by 1.9% to $1.474bn.

Downloaded audio had "another strong month" in August, the AAP reported: revenues were up 27.6% in August 2017 compared to August 2016, and up 30.2% for the first seven months of 2017, climbing from $164.5m (January to August 2016) to $214.2m (January to August 2017).

The publishers' e-book sales however continued to decline: in August revenue fell 7.1% in comparison to August 2016, and for the year-to-date (January to August 2017) sales were down 5.3% on the same period in 2016, falling from $790.1m to $748.5m. E-books from Religious Presses bucked the trend by showing an increase in e-book revenue in August, up 10%, and also for the year-to-date (January to August 2017), up 11.9%.

Year-to-date Higher Education revenues were flat (-0.1%) and PreK-12 declined by -3.2% for the seven-month period, January to August 2017, compared to the same period in 2016. Revenues for Professional Books increased by 3.5% and University Presses increased 4.2%.