US trade sales increase despite a fall in publishing revenues

US trade sales increase despite a fall in publishing revenues

Publishing revenues declined 1.4% in the US in the first three quarters of the year, despite a rise in trade revenues of 4.4%, according to the Association of American Publishers (AAP).

Trade publishing revenues increased 4.4% to $228.3m compared to the same period in 2017 and adult books - the largest category - experienced a rise of 4.4%. Publishers revenue for children’s and young adult books (+3.5%) and religious presses (+7.6%) also increased.

The growth in trade publishing was, however, offset by declines in revenues from education and scholarly publishers. Sales of higher education course materials were down (by 6.7%), as were sales of instructional materials (-4.9%), professional books (-9.8%) and titles from university presses (-8.4%).

In terms of format, audiobooks experience both the biggest rise and the biggest fall, as revenues from downloaded audio grew 37.4% but from physical audio were down 25.9%. Hardback sales were up 6.2%, paperback and mass market grew 2.2%. E-book revenues decreased by 3.9%.

The data was taken from the AAP's StatShot report, which tracks 1,200 publishers’ net revenue from all distribution channels (as opposed to retailer or consumer sales figures) across trade, education, higher education, university presses and professional markets.