BookStats Announces 2013 Publishing Figures

Posted on 7/11/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

BookStats has reported that the U.S. book and journal publishing industry sold 2.59 billion units and generated $27.01 billion in net revenue in 2013.

The trade sector - covering general consumer fiction and non-fiction – generated $14.66 billion in net revenue and was responsible for 2.32 billion of the total units sold. This would give us an average price $6.32, but it is not clear whether that is list prince including book sellers markup, or is the actual revenue the publisher received.

These figures indicate that educational publishing represented something in the range of 270 million copies sold for total revenue of about $12.35 billion at an average price of about $45.74.

As we noted last September PACA negotiated a new deal with Cengage (and every other educational publisher was expected to follow) that streamlined the educational license model. The complexities of print run, language, size and location of use were removed and it was recommended that sellers transition to a flat fee structure that grants World, All Media, Print and Electronic Rights for an Insert Use (of any image) in a Product Family or Discipline.
The intent was that once an image is licensed for use in a Product Family it can be used in any way in a Print Edition (including covers), Split Editions, Bundles, Ancillary Works, Alternate Editions, DVD discs, Custom Editions and all types of electronic use without the need for additional clearance or licensing.  Images licensed in this manner may also be used in-context in marketing, advertising, publicity or promotion of the Publisher’s work including samples, desk copies and other gratis uses.

Readers may also want to take a look at two other stories here and here.

Trade Books

In the trade sector U.S. publishers made more money from online orders and e-book in 2013 ($7.54 billion) than they made from selling books at physical retail outlets that generated $7.12 billion in total sales.

While the difference in tradebook sales is not huge it suggests that a large and growing percentage of the American population is content with buying books it hasn’t seen. Since online products are often less expensive there may be many more units sold, and a lower average price.

e-book sales jumped about 10% between 2012 and 2013 to a total of 512.7 million copies, but e-book revenue was flat indicating a decline in average price. In addition this data does not include books without ISBN numbers. Quite a few self-published e-books do not put ISBN numbers on their titles. 

Copyright © 2014 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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