Wednesday, 18 July 2012 | Andi Sporkin — The eBook phenomenon continued in 2011 with eBooks ranking, for the first time, as the year’s #1 individual format for Adult Fiction; Children’s/Young Adult titles showed the strongest performance among categories; brick-and-mortar stores remain the biggest sales channel; and direct-to-consumer saw strong growth according to BookStats 2012, the most comprehensive annual survey of the size and scope of the US publishing industry.

BookStats, examining US publishers’ annual net sales revenues and net units, is co-produced by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group.

The 2012 edition, released in July 2012, includes data provided by 1977 publishers from all four industry sectors: Trade (fiction and non-fiction for adults and children), School/K-12, Higher Education and Professional/Scholarly Publishing. The survey is available for purchase in three versions: as a customizable interactive online dashboard, an executive summary providing major highlights and a full in-depth report including each area’s granular data.

Among the key highlights that emerged in BookStats 2012:

In the overall Trade sector (encompassing Fiction and Non-Fiction for
Children, Young Adults and Adults), eBooks’ net sales revenue more
than doubled in 2011 vs 2010. This significant growth was particularly
fueled by eBooks’ performance in the Adult Fiction segment where, for
the first time, it ranked #1 for the year in net revenue among all
individual print and electronic formats.

  • Among categories, both Religion and Children’s/Young Adults showed
    strong growth while Children’s/YA ranked as the fastest-growing category
    in publishing in 2011.
  • Despite the negative impact of Borders’ bankruptcy and closures, particularly
    on print book sales, through three quarters of 2011, the Trade market held
    up equal with 2010 revenue figures, even showing a slight increase.
  • Brick-and-mortar retail remains the #1 sales distribution channel for
    publishers in 2011, as it did in 2010. Publishers’ revenue from
    direct-to-consumer sales nearly doubled, topping $1 billion
    for the first time.

Where to buy BookStats

BookStats background

In 2010, two of US publishing’s foremost professional organizations — Book Industry Study Group and the Association of American Publishers — came together to collaboratively design and produce a new kind of annual survey that would definitively capture the transformational changes in the industry from a 360 degree perspective. The first edition of BookStats was released in the summer of 2011 and quickly became recognized as a credible, substantive resource.

The cornerstone of BookStats’ methodology is its unprecedented breadth of publisher source data. The 1977 organizations that chose to participate represent the full spectrum of the US publishing industry: large, medium and small; major content companies to non-profits; and the entire scope of consumer, educational, professional and scholarly markets. Using a three-sided cube model, the data is analyzed based on categories, formats and sales distribution channels. The BookStats dashboard product brings the cube to life, enabling the user to examine each side through customizable filtering and cross tabs across the three dimensions.

All figures and quantities included in BookStats represent net publisher totals inclusive of discounts and credit for returns. BookStats does not reflect consumer pricing or purchases.

AAP is the national trade association representing 300 premier US publishers of high-quality entertainment, education, professional and scholarly content, produced with the most current technology, reaching the world. For more information, visit

BISG is the leading US book trade association for standardized best practices, research and education about publishing; its membership includes publishers, retailers, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and librarians. For more information, visit