Annual Book Price Update
September 2014TO: Customers of YBP Library Services
FR: Nat Bruning
RE: 2013/2014 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 18 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 2013/2014 fiscal year (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014).
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 U.S. book profiling group profiled 66,395 titles, 3% more than in the previous year. Â While the total academic publishing output increased, the output of individual publishers fluctuated based on changes to their publishing program and the timing of their title releases. YBP profiled 6071 Springer titles, an increase of 17%. We profiled 3% more Routledge titles, but 14% fewer John Wiley titles. Seventeen of the 25 most prolific publishers of FY13 increased the number of titles they published in FY14. By subject, we profiled 2% more STM (Q, R, T) titles, 9% more Language & Literature (P) titles, and 3% more Social Science (H) titles.
The average list price of books profiled by YBP increased by 3%. This was the 12th consecutive year of price increases. The average increase during the last 10 years is 3.5%. By subject, Social Science (H) increased by 3%, Language & Literature (P) increased by 5%, Science (Q) titles rose by 0.4%, Medicine (R) titles rose by 0.8%, and Technology (T) titles average price increased by 3%. The average list price for the "paper-preferred" bibliographic universe was $82.09, representing 1.5% 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 17,513 titles last year, an 8% decrease. A large drop in the number of The Stationary Office’s titles being profiled masked significant increases in the number of titles profiled for Routledge, Oxford University Press, Palgrave, Ashgate and others. As for average U.K. prices, we saw an overall increase of 5.5%.
|YBP UK Fiscal Year||YBP UK Approval Titles Treated||% Change||Avg. List Price||% Change|
Data for three major ebook aggregators is displayed in the following table. Aggregator title selections and access models differ so average price comparisons between platforms are misleading, but it is useful to consider them at the platform level. YBP offers a selection of additional aggregrator and publisher platforms, and purchase options for ebooks. Libraries will find prices will vary based on the platform and purchase options selected. These three aggregators offered more frontlist approval press titles in FY14 than the previous year with both ebrary and EBSCOhost presenting over 50% of all titles profiled.
|eBook Aggregator||Approval Press ebooks added in FY14||Frontlist ebooks profiled in FY14||% of Frontlist titles available as ebooks||Average Frontlist List price in FY14|
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 2013/14 book price inflation varied widely among YBP and YBP U.K. customers. Subject emphases, format and platform preference, ebook purchase options, 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.
To 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 18 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 FY2015. Most academic publishers are witnessing declines in sales per title. To offset this loss and protect their financial strength, many are publishing more titles and raising their list prices. As a result, we forecast a 3-4% increase in the price of U.S. print books in FY15.
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 FY15.
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.
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.
As for title output, based on what we are hearing from many publishers, we anticipate another 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 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 2015.