Book Publishers Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 7/22/2019
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 Bertelsmann (Germany), McGraw-Hill Education (the US), Pearson (the UK), Reed Elsevier (the UK and the Netherlands), Thomson Reuters (Canada), Wiley (the US), and Wolters Kluwer (the Netherlands).

Global books revenue from all channels is expected to reach about $121 billion by 2021, up from about $115 billion in 2016, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Total books revenue is forecast to grow by about 1% per year over the next five years as print revenue declines more slowly, or even rises, in major markets.

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 US industry is highly concentrated: the top 50 companies generate about 80% of revenue.

Book publishers face competition for consumer leisure time from numerous other sources of media and entertainment, including magazine and newspaper publishing, video games, and TV and motion picture production. Online content designed for training ...

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