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).
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 percent of revenue.
Textbooks and adult trade books (books for general reading) each account for about 25 percent of US industry revenue; other categories include professional books (20 percent of revenue), children's books (10 percent), and reference books (5 percent).Buy Now