September 29, 2016 Last Updated 11:53 am

AAP StatShot data shows eBooks revenue down 22.7% for April

Editor’s note: Here is the latest AAP StatShot data press release. Keep in mind that this date represents the information coming in from the trade association’s members rather than a survey of the entire industry.

Washington, DC – September 29, 2016 – Trade books grew 3.4% in April, with double-digit growth in April 2016 vs. April 2015 in Childrens/YA (12.8%) and Religious Books (13.7%). Despite that, publishers’ revenues were down 7.0% in April 2016, and 4.3% for the year-to-date vs. the same timeframes in 2015.


  • Publishers’ book sales for April 2016 were $729.6 million, down 7.0% from April 2015. These numbers include sales for all tracked categories (Trade – fiction/non-fiction/religious, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses.)
    • Year-to-date, sales were down 4.3% to $2.85 billion vs. the same four months in 2015.
  • Trade (consumer) books sales were $534.7 million in April 2016, up 3.4% from April 2015. Year-to-date, trade is down 4.5% compared to the same time in 2015. Trade numbers include Childrens/YA Books, Adult Books and Religious Books.
  • In April:
    • Adult Books had $383.3 million in sales, flat (+0.1%) from 2015
    • Childrens/YA Books had $118.0 million in sales, up 12.8%
    • Religious Presses had $33.4 million in sales, up 13.7%

Trends for Trade by Format

  • In April 2016 vs. April 2015:
    • Paperback books grew 21.5%
    • Downloaded audio grew 20.4%
    • Hardback books grew 2.6%; interestingly, there was 24.2% growth in Children/YA and a 6.6% decline in Adult Books
    • eBooks were down 22.7%
  • Year-to-date, paperback books (9.9%) and downloaded audio (31.4%) are the categories with the most growth.

Educational Materials and Professional Books

  • Educational Materials were down 13.0% for PreK-12 Instructional Materials and 81.6% for Higher Education Course Materials, in April 2016 vs. April 2015. Year-to-date the numbers are more representative, with a decline of 3.6% for PreK-12 and growth of 3.7% in Higher Ed.
  • Professional Publishing was down 9.0% in April 2016 vs April 2015. These categories include business, medical, law, scientific and technical books. University presses were down 8.7%. Both categories show declines year-to-date as well.


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