U.S. book publishers’ revenues will retreat from pandemic-induced highs

Sales are expected to return to a longer-term decline amid lower sales of school-aged children and printed matter

CLEVELAND, May 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — U.S. book publishers’ revenues in nominal terms are expected to see minimal annual declines through 2026, according to Books: United States, a report recently published by Freedonia Focus Reports. Publishers should benefit from disposable income and population growth, which will prevent faster declines. The industry will also experience strong growth in digitally downloaded audiobooks. However, the industry has seen an unprecedented sales surge in 2021 due to increased purchases of textbooks by schools, consumers spending more time reading and stimulus checks supporting disposable income levels. These factors supporting high income levels are expected to dissipate in 2022, causing income to return to historical trend. In addition, the number of school-aged children is expected to decline, which will reduce sales of children’s books. Sales are expected to fall over the forecast period as consumer reading time drops from a pandemic-inflated high. Competition from used book sellers, including brick-and-mortar used bookstores and online retailers like Amazon, will also continue to limit revenue.

As observed over the historical period, the share of sales driven by new releases is expected to continue to decline as more publishers focus on supporting their backlists. Backlist sales generate less returns and are generally more profitable for publishers.

This and other key information is presented in Books: United States. This report forecasts 2022 and 2026 US pound revenues in nominal US dollars. Total revenue is segmented by media type in terms of:

  • to print
  • in line
  • other media such as CDs and e-books published on physical media

Total revenues are also segmented by market as follows:

  • manuals
  • professional, technical and scientific
  • adult trade
  • for children
  • general reference

To illustrate historical trends, total revenues and different segments are provided in annual series from 2011 to 2021.

Publishers that exclusively publish books online are excluded from the scope of this report. Income from activities other than book publishing, such as income from the sale or licensing of content rights, database subscriptions or other information, or printing under contract by publishers are also excluded.

This report includes the results of an exclusive national survey of US consumers (ages 18 and older). This Freedonia Focus Reports national survey has a sample size of approximately 1,500 people, selected for the quality of responses and representative of the U.S. population on demographic measures of age, gender, geographic region, race/ethnicity, household income and presence/absence of children in the household.

More information on the report is available at:

About Freedonia Focus Reports
Each month, The Freedonia Group – a division of MarketResearch.com – publishes over 20 new or updated Freedonia Focus reports, providing up-to-date, unbiased analysis on a wide variety of markets and industries. Published in 20 to 30 pages, the Focus report’s coverage ranges from raw materials to finished manufactured goods and related services such as freight and construction. Additional Consumer goods reports can be purchased at Freedonia Tuning Reports or MarketResearch.com.

The analysis is intended to guide the busy reader through relevant topics in quick succession, including:

  • total historical market size and industry production
  • segmentation by products and markets
  • identification of market drivers, restraints and key indicators
  • outlook segment by segment in 5-year forecasts
  • supply base survey
  • suggested resources for further study

Press contacts:
Corinne Gangloff
+1 440.842.2400
[email protected]

SOURCE The Freedonia Group