Book Publishers Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 2/29/2016
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 Hachette Livre (France), Pearson (the UK), Reed Elsevier (the UK and the Netherlands), and Wolters Kluwer (the Netherlands). Other major book publishers with significant international operations include units of giant media companies, such as HarperCollins (owned by News Corp); Random House (owned by Bertelsmann); and Simon & Schuster (owned by CBS).

Annual global spending on consumer, educational, and professional books is about $120 billion, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Growth in printed books is flat or declining in much of the world, but is being offset by a rise in revenues from e-books. Asia/Pacific and Latin American countries such as Thailand, India, Brazil, and China are among the fastest-growing book publishing markets.

The US book publishing industry consists of about 2,500 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.

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