Sales of Academic & Professional Books to Drive Growth in Publisher Revenues


Cleveland, OH, April 22, 2020 — US book publisher revenues are expected to increase 2.3% annually in nominal dollars through 2024, according to Books: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Over the forecast period, US publishers will benefit from academic libraries paying for access to professional, technical, and scholarly books, as well as growth in textbook revenues. Among media types, expanding sales of e-books and audiobooks are expected to drive growth. Competition from sellers of used books, including brick-and-mortar used book stores and internet retailers such as Amazon, will prevent faster advances.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 in the US is expected to reduce publisher revenues in 2020, reflecting closures of bookstores and cancellations of major author and book fairs. However, people in states under a stay-at-home order will likely shift purchases to e-books and e-commerce-delivered print books, which will alleviate declines.

These and other key insights are featured in Books: United States. This report forecasts to 2024 US book revenues in nominal US dollars. Total revenues are segmented by media type in terms of:

  • print
  • online
  • other media such as audiobooks, CDs, and e-books published on physical media

Total revenues are also segmented by market as follows:

  • textbooks
  • professional, technical, and scholarly
  • adult trade
  • children’s
  • general reference

To illustrate historical trends, total revenues and the various segments are provided in annual series from 2009 to 2019.

Publishers who exclusively publish books online are excluded from the scope of this report. Revenues from activities other than book publishing, such as those from the sale or licensing of content rights, subscriptions to databases or other information, or from contract printing by publishers are also excluded.

More information about the report is available at: