Annual Book Price Update
TO: Customers of YBP Library Services
FR: Nat Bruning
RE: 2011/2012 New Book Price and Output Report
As a service to our customers, each fall YBP publishes a report on price and output for new books published during our prior fiscal year. The data encompasses all new titles treated on the Approval Plan programs of YBP and YBP U.K. Last year these two offices profiled, with book-in-hand, over 88,000 distinct new titles. Since our Approval Plan programs are expressly designed to serve academic libraries, our data, which we have reported in a consistent way for the last 16 years, is a useful index to English-language publishing trends for scholarly, professional and scientific books.
We are pleased to present, once again, these reports for our company's 2011/2012 fiscal year, (July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012).
A complete set of data showing separate YBP and YBP U.K. totals for all titles handled during this period, can be found on the YBP website (click here). We present our profiling history data in a variety of ways:
- By subject under the Library of Congress, Dewey and National Library of Medicine classification systems.
- By publisher.
- By non-subject parameters - which include categories like format, interdisciplinary descriptors such as "Women's Studies" and geographic descriptors.
All of these reports are available on our website in Excel format. PDF versions are available on demand in GOBI3.
YBP's U.S. book profiling group profiled 64,383 titles, only 1% more than the previous year even though we added 10 new presses to our U.S. Approval Press list. While the total academic publishing output remains relatively flat, the output of individual publishers continues to fluctuate based on changes to their publishing program and their timing of title releases. YBP profiled 4,108 Springer titles, an increase of 12%. We profiled 14% more Routledge titles, but 8% fewer John Wiley titles. Fifteen of our top 25 publishers increased their output in FY12. By subject, we profiled 1% more Science (Q) titles and 5% more Technology (T) titles. We profiled 4% more Language & Literature (P) titles and 1% more Social Science (H) titles.
The average list price of books profiled by YBP increased by 3.7%. This was the 10th consecutive year of price increases. The average increase during the 10 year period is 3.9%. By subject, Social Science (H) and Language & Literature (P) increased by 3%. STM titles rose as well. Science (Q) and Medicine (R) titles rose by 4%, while Technology (T) titles were up 5%. The average list price for the "paper-preferred" bibliographic universe was $78.23, representing 3.9% increase.
The table below shows YBP's data for publishing output and new book list prices for the past 10 years. (These figures are "cloth-preferred.")
|YBP Fiscal Year||YBP Approval Titles Treated||% Change||Avg. List Price (USD)||% Change|
The next table shows output and price data from the past 10 fiscal years at YBP U.K. This operation covers new U.K. titles of interest to academic libraries worldwide. YBP U.K. also profiles select titles from continental Europe and from Africa. We profiled over 24,000 titles last year. The increase from the previous year is largely attributed to the large increase of The Stationary Office’s titles being profiled. As for average U.K. prices, we saw an overall decrease of 2.4%. Again, The Stationary Store titles, with their low average list price, helped depress the overall average. If they are removed from the average price calculation, our report would show the average U.K. price increased by 9.7%. This increase is reflected in the average price of titles profiled in the U.K. in most LC classes.
|YBP UK Fiscal Year||YBP UK Approval Titles Treated||% Change||Avg. List Price||% Change|
Data for our ebook aggregators is displayed in the following table. The average list price of an ebook across our primary aggregators in FY12 was $95.14, a decrease of 2.0% from the previous year (calculated on single user and non-linear pricing options). Aggregator approval title volume was up in FY12 for front-list titles reflecting publishers growing acceptance of this ebook distribution channel. ebrary led the way for aggregators by offering ebook editions for 37% of the titles YBP profiled in the year, however many ebook editions were not available simultaneously with the print.
|eBook Aggregator||Approval Press ebooks added in FY12||Frontlist ebooks profiled in FY12||% of Frontlist titles available as ebooks||Average List price in FY12||% of change from FY11|
All the print and ebook data we have presented is aggregated. Libraries will find a review of their own purchasing history to be the best indicator of the inflation rate they will experience. The 2011/12 book price inflation varied widely among YBP and YBP U.K. customers. Subject emphases, format preference, budgets, and the method for acquiring U.K. and other English-language books from around the world are some of the factors that made one library’s experience different from others.
All of the data cited in this report, as well as aggregate and local data configured in many other ways for hundreds of bibliographic categories, can be obtained at any time in GOBI3. GOBI3 reports enable librarians to not only track their own library’s U.S. and U.K. buying patterns, but also to track the corresponding bibliographic universe in ways that make sense locally. GOBI3’s "New Title” reports, a feature which can be found under the "Reports" menu, offer on-demand and highly customized access to the same Approval Plan data that we use to create this annual output and price feature. We think all academic libraries will find GOBI3 to be a powerful tool in budgeting and planning.
In order to better assist our customers each year with their own budgeting process, YBP provides our forecast of book price inflation for the coming year. We do our best to consider our historical data, collect insight from buyers and publishers, and review general economic data when developing our forecast. During the past 16 years, YBP has only reported a drop in the average list price of U.S.books twice. Everything we are hearing from publishers leads us to expect further increases in FY2012. Academic publishers continue to weigh tight library budgets against their costs of developing strong digital services while still maintaining print book infrastructures. We forecast a 3-4% increase in the price of U.S. print books in FY2013.
Publishers face the same pressures in the U.K. as they do in the U.S. We predict that list prices in the U.K. will increase in the range of 3-4% as well in FY2012.
Libraries will have to keep an eye on exchange rates. Currency values are a major factor in global publishers’ pricing decisions. Some publishers will adjust list prices to export markets to achieve global pricing parity.
eBook pricing in the academic library market is closely linked to print book pricing and will be influenced by the same factors. We expect academic publishers to maintain a fixed relationship between the prices of the two formats for the time being; therefore, we suggest ebook list prices for front-list will also increase 3-4% in the next year.
As for title output, we see no evidence that overall publisher output of academic titles will increase this year. Our buyers have completed their purchasing of fall 2012 titles and their count is essentially even with last year. In a similar vein, we are not forecasting an increase of new titles out of the U.K. for the coming year either. We will continue to consider adding new presses to our U.S. and U.K Approval Plan press list, but the new presses are typically small and have little impact on the overall title count.
We sincerely hope that this information is useful to you and will serve as a practical tool to assist you in your anticipated acquisitions and collection development planning in 2013.