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).
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.
Products, Operations & Technology
Textbooks and professional and technical books each account for about 30% of US industry revenue; adult trade books (general fiction and nonfiction titles) account for about 25%. Other categories include children's books (7%), and reference books (3%).