June 11, 2015 Last Updated 7:53 am

Association of American Publishers says book and journal publishing industry grew 4.6% in 2014

The StatShot Annual reports estimates the total size of the U.S. publishing industry by collecting sales data from nearly 1,800 active U.S. publishers

WASHINGTON, DC – June 11, 2015 — The U.S. book and journal publishing industry generated $27.98 billion in net revenue for 2014, representing 2.70 billion in units (volume), according to StatShot Annual, a yearly statistical survey of publishing’s estimated size and scope released today by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). This represents a slight revenue increase of 4.6% from 2013, which was $26.75 billion. The figures include trade (fiction/non-fiction), K-12 instructional materials, higher education course materials, university presses, and professional books.

Pubrev-1The industry’s relative revenue growth was largely due to a 4.2% increase year-over-year within the trade category. Trade revenues were $15.43 billion, compared to $14.81 billion in 2013.

“The industry’s health is driven by the depth and range of titles and formats produced by publishers,” said Tina Jordan, Vice President of the Association of American Publishers. “By that measure, 2014 was a good year for publishers with more than 2.7 billion books in all formats sold and continuous innovation in developing new ways for readers to enjoy and learn from books.”


Childrens & YA Grows: The area of largest growth for the trade category was children & young adult, which had double-digit growth in both revenue (20.9%) and units (13.5%). Children & YA fiction surpassed the adult fiction market with 843 million units and 746 million units sold respectively.

Format Popularity Shifts: After slightly declining last year, eBooks experienced 3.8% revenue growth to an estimated $3.37 billion. Paperbacks, which remain the most popular format, saw strong sales at $4.84 billion compared to $4.42 billion. Though the audiobooks category is relatively small (48 million units) compared to downloaded eBooks (510 million units), downloaded audio hit record growth in both units (27.0%) and revenue (26.8%) over 2013.

Subscription Services Tracked: For the first time, audio and eBook subscription services were tracked. Approximately 20 publishers currently in the business of providing their books via eBook subscription service provided data on this small, but growing, part of the market. About 3.88 million audiobooks and more than 2.47 million eBook units sold in 2014.

Retail & Online Sales Increase: Physical retail stores saw an increase of 3.2% in revenue ($3.80 billion from $3.68 billion) and 4.1% in units (577 million from 554 million) in the trade category. Online retail remained the top sales channel in the trade category, selling 832 million units and providing $5.90 billion in revenue. Channel numbers reflect how publishers get books into the marketplace, not retailers’ revenue from consumers.

Source: AAP

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