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, Thomson Reuters, and Wiley, 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. Educational books will experience the fastest growth through 2020, but slower-growing consumer books make up half of the global market. The US and Europe are the largest 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 purposes may be a growing source of...