Book Publishers Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 3/13/2017
SIC Codes: 2731
NAICS Codes: 51113
Chapters Include:
Industry Overview Trends & Challenges Industry Forecast
Quarterly Industry Update Call Prep Questions Website & Media Links
Business Challenges Financial Information Glossary & Acronyms
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Excerpt from Book Publishers Industry Profile

Companies in this industry publish fiction and nonfiction trade books, as well as educational and professional titles, in print and digital formats. Major companies include US-based McGraw-Hill Education, Scholastic, and Thomson Reuters, as well as Penguin Random House (based in the US, but owned by German media firm Bertelsmann), Pearson (the UK), Reed Elsevier (the UK and the Netherlands), and Wolters Kluwer (the Netherlands).

Global books revenue from all channels is about $120 billion, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. India is the fastest-growing book publishing market. Consumer e-book revenue will see strongest growth in countries with high tablet penetration, including the US, the UK, Singapore, and South Korea.

The US book publishing industry consists of about 2,600 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $27 billion.


Demand for books is driven by demographics and is largely resistant to economic cycles. The profitability of individual companies depends on product development and marketing. Large publishers have an advantage in bidding for new manuscripts or authors. Small and midsized publishers can succeed if they focus on a specific subject or market. The industry is highly concentrated: the top 50 US companies generate about 80% of revenue.

Book publishers face competition from numerous other sources of media and entertainment.


Textbooks and professional and technical books each account for about 30% of US industry revenue; adult trade books (general fiction and nonfiction ...

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