Book Publisher Revenue Up 6.2% in First Quarter of 2018

Publishers’ revenue increased by $143.2 million (+6.2%) for the first quarter of 2018 (Jan – March) compared to the same period in 2017. 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). The increases are attributed primarily to strong growth in trade (consumer) books in January and February.

Trade books increased by $94.7 million (+6.3%) to $1.59 billion in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, with growth in Adult Books, Children & Young Adult Books and Religious Presses. Publishers also saw increased revenue for Professional Books, University Presses and Higher Ed Course Materials.

Some First Quarter trends include:
•Publishers saw revenue gains in Adult Books, Professional Books, and University Presses continuing trends from 2017
•Adult Books saw double-digit growth in January (+13.7%) and February (+12.4%)
•While eBook revenue decreased for the quarter, March saw 1.5% growth for the format
•Downloaded audiobooks continue their rapid growth, with publisher revenue up 32.1% for the first quarter

Trade Book Formats
In the first quarter, print books generally continued their growth from 2017. Revenue from print books totaled $1.14 billion, up about $67.7 million (+6.3%), from the first quarter of 2017. The increase is attributed to growth in trade’s two largest formats – hardback books (+12.0%) and paperback books (+3.2%).

Downloaded audio continued its significant growth into the first quarter of 2018, up by +32.1% over the first quarter 2017. In the first quarter of 2018, the format added $24.0 million in revenue growth compared to the same period last year, making it the format with the second highest revenue growth – just behind hardback books (up $57.1 million).

While eBooks declined by -3.2% for the quarter, they had one month of growth. Publisher revenue for eBooks grew 1.5% in March 2018 compared to March 2017, with Adult eBooks being the reason for the increase.
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