April trade book sales down 11.2% to US$605.7M, with hardback revenues down 9.2%, paperbacks down 16.3% and mass market down 10.7%; year-to-date trade revenues down 2.0% to US$2.8B, with hardback down 4.2% and paperbacks down 1.8%: AAP StatShot

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June 28, 2023 (press release) –

Trade (Consumer Book) Revenues Down 11.2% for Month of April, and Down 2.0% Year-to-Date

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for April 2023 reflecting reported revenue for Trade (Consumer Books), Higher Education Course Materials, and Professional Publishing.

Total revenues across all categories for April 2023 were down 7.6% as compared to April 2022, coming in at $732.3 million. Year-to-date revenues were up 0.9%, at $3.9 billion for the first four months of the year.

Trade (Consumer Books) Revenues

April

Trade (Consumer Books) revenues were down 11.2% in April, coming in at $605.7 million.

In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of April, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were down 9.2%, coming in at $218.1 million; Paperbacks were down 16.3%, with $208.9 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 10.7% to $12.7 million; and Special Bindings were down 2.8%, with $12.3 million in revenue.

eBook revenues were down 14.1% for the month as compared to April 2022 for a total of $71.9 million, and the Digital Audio format was up 5.8% for April, coming in at $65.0 million in revenue. Physical Audio was down 14.5% coming in at $1.0 million.

Year-to-date

Year-to-date Trade revenues were down 2.0%, at $2.8 billion for the first four months of the year. Hardback revenues were down 4.2%, coming in at $970.0 million; Paperbacks were down 1.8%, with $1.0 billion in revenue; Mass Market was down 16.0% to $53.7 million; and Special Bindings were up 2.8%, with $59.5 million in revenue.

eBook revenues were down 1.0% as compared to the first four months of 2023 for a total of $332.8 million. The Digital Audio format was up 17.7%, coming in at $276.9 million in revenue. Physical Audio was down 26.7% coming in at $3.5 million.

Religious Presses

April

Religious press revenues were down 5.9% in April, coming in at $50.1 million. Hardback revenues were down 8.3% to $28.7 million in revenue, Paperback revenues were down 5.7% to $8.4 million, eBook revenues were down 6.2% coming in at $4.3 million, and Digital Audio revenues were up 16.7% at $3.7 million.

Year-to-date

On a year-to-date basis, religious press revenues were up 1.2%, reaching $261.6 million. Hardback revenues were down 0.6% at $152.5 million in revenue, Paperback revenues were up 2.6% to $50.8 million, eBook revenues were down 6.0% at $19.3 million, and Digital Audio revenues were up 16.9% at $15.3 million. 

Education

During April 2023 revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were $80.9 million, up 32.8% compared with April 2022. Year-to-date Higher Education Course Materials revenues were $908.2 million, up 12.4% compared to the first four months of 2022.

Professional Books

Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were down 1.9% during the month, coming in at $37.0 million. Year-to-date Professional Books revenues were $162.5 million, down 2.2% as compared to the first four months of 2022.

AAP’s StatShot

AAP StatShot reports the monthly and yearly net revenue of publishing houses from U.S. 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: a) The pool of StatShot participants may fluctuate from report to report; and b) Like any business, it is 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.

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Dan Rivard
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