Annual Book Price Update
TO: Customers of YBP Library Services
FR: Nat Bruning
RE: 2012/2013 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, more than 83,000 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 17 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 2012/2013 fiscal year, (July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013).
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 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 acquisition and collection management interface.
YBP's U.S. book profiling group profiled 64,376 titles, almost exactly the same number as the previous year even though we added 21 new presses to our U.S. Approval Press list. While the total academic publishing output remained flat, the output of individual publishers continues to fluctuate based on changes to their publishing program and timing of title releases. YBP profiled 5,195 Springer titles, an increase of 26%. We profiled 12% more Routledge titles, but 6% fewer John Wiley titles. 15 of our top 25 publishers increased their output in FY13. By subject, we profiled 3% more STM (Q, R, T) titles and 3% fewer Language & Literature (P) titles. Our profiling output for Social Science (H) titles was flat.
The average list price of books profiled by YBP increased by 4.9%. This was the 11th consecutive year of price increases. The average increase during the last 10 years was 4.0%. By subject, Social Science (H) increased by 7% while Language & Literature (P) increased by only 1%. Science (Q) titles rose by 5%. Medicine (R) titles rose by 10%, while the average price of Technology (T) titles was flat. The average list price for the "paper-preferred" bibliographic universe was $82.09, representing a 4.9% 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 Africa. We profiled 18,976 titles last year, a 21% decrease. This decrease is attributed to the large reduction in The Stationary Office’s (TSO) titles being profiled as a result of no customer demand. As for average U.K. prices, we saw an overall increase of 15.3%. Again, TSO titles, with their low average list price, helped depress the overall average last year. If they are removed from the average price calculation for the previous year, our report would show the average U.K. price increased only 2.5% between FY12 and FY13.
|YBP UK Fiscal Year||YBP UK Approval Titles Treated||% Change||Avg. List Price||% Change||2012/13||18,976||-21.2%||£56.15||15.3%|
Data for three major ebook aggregators is displayed in the following table. The average list price of an ebook across these aggregators in FY13 was $112.42, an increase of 16.0% from the previous year (calculated on single-user and non-linear pricing options). YBP offers an increasing selection of platforms and purchase options for ebooks. Libraries will find prices vary based on the access models selected. Aggregator approval title volume continued to grow in FY13 for frontlist titles reflecting academic publishers growing acceptance of this ebook distribution channel. ebrary led the way for aggregators by offering ebook editions for 47% 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 FY13||Frontlist ebooks profiled in FY13||% of Frontlist titles available as ebooks||Average List price in FY13||% of change from FY12|
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 2012/13 book price inflation varied widely among YBP and YBP U.K. customers. Subject emphases, format and platform 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. Academic libraries will find GOBI3 to be a useful tool for budgeting and planning.
In order to better assist our customers each year with their own budgeting process, YBP provides a 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 17 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 FY13. Publisher revenue models based predominantly on print sales are no longer sustainable. Publishers are experimenting with new models that factor in the changes introduced by escalating digital sales, Demand- Driven Acquisition and Short-Term Loans. In the face of higher costs and reduced sales, many publishers are implementing strategies of cautiously raising prices and title output. As a result, we forecast a 4-5% increase in the price of U.S. print books in FY14.
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 4-5% in FY14.
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 frontlist titles will also increase 4-5% in the next year.
As for title output, based on what we are hearing from many publishers, we anticipate a small 1-2% increase in overall publisher output of academic titles this year. In a similar vein, we are forecasting a similar increase of new titles out of the U.K. for the coming year as well. 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 hope our annual book price update and new title reports serve as valuable resources when forecasting your library’s budget for the upcoming year. For more information, contact your YBP representative or email firstname.lastname@example.org.