In this third installment, (see part one and part two; part four to come later this week), we will look at how Publishers fared in 2007 when compared to 2006. The chart below shows our dashboard view of the Large publishers’ results for 2007. The most notable factor is that Wiley continues to hold the leading spot as the largest publisher, with 30% market share of units sold, while Pearson lost 2% market share and O’Reilly gains 1%. (We’ll look at revenue share later in the analysis.)
|2008 Pub Share||2007 Pub Share|
You may not recognize the names of all the top publishers, because they are actually conglomerates of many smaller publishing imprints that they’ve acquired or created over the years. The imprints are the familiar consumer-facing brands. For instance, when you purchase a book from Peachpit or Sams, you typically see Peachpit or Sams on the spine, not Pearson, even though Pearson owns both companies. One stand-out change is that Thomson and its computer-book-oriented imprints are now called Cengage. Also, all the imprints that make up O’Reilly “publisher view” are part of a distribution partnership and are not owned, in any way, by O’Reilly.
Let’s look at the top Publishers and how they performed year over year. The following table provides some interesting comparative data.
|Publisher||‘08 Units||‘07 Units||‘08 Title Count||‘07 Title Count||‘08 Efficiency||‘07 Efficiency|
So what is notable from this data? First that these top 8 publishers are down – 375,820k units from 2007 to 2008. Only O’Reilly and Reed Elsevier saw modest gains in 2008. Seven out of the eight top publishers had more titles making the top 3000 list in 2008. Wiley, O’Reilly, and Reed Elsevier saw their efficiency improve in 2008 while the other large publishers saw their efficiency decrease.
A note on Market Share versus Title Efficiency
A typical indicator of publisher performance is market share of units sold, which is what we’ve been looking at so far. Perhaps a better measure is how many titles published it takes to get a comparable share of unit sales. This is the ratio of title share to unit market share. Think about it this way: if a publisher has 15% of the titles appearing in the Bookscan Top 3000, and gets a 15% share of units sold, they will have a ratio of 1:1, expressed as a title efficiency of 1.0. A publisher with 20% of the title share, and 10% of the unit share would have a .5 efficiency. An efficiency of 1 is the market average: 100% of the title count delivering 100% of the unit sales. A publisher that achieves its share with fewer titles will have a higher ratio. Publishers under the 1.0 threshold typically have many titles in the Bookscan data, but they are not selling many units. A note of caution though. Some publishers have many evergreen titles [mentioned in the last post] that can skew this data. Typically older titles sell fewer unites each subsequent year. But this is not always true, and some titles continue to sell like they are newly released. (Head First Design Patterns is one example), And can still sell more than some brand-new titles. So efficiency could be thought of as a “frequency ratio” rather than efficiency – because it is very efficient to publish a title and have it sell for years and years.
A note on Evergreen Status
In the table below has a view of Imprints that have a percentage of evergreen titles. So here is how we can up with evergreen status. We assigned points to titles that had copyright dates older than 16+ years [most points], 10-16 years, 5-10 years and less than 5 years. After assigning points for each title, we were able to see what percentage of evergreen titles each imprint had in the top 3000 for 2008. It’s interesting to note that the top three evergreen imprints have a strong academic heritage.
Now that you have a basic understanding of title efficiency and evergreen status, let’s look further into the 2009 results for the imprints and drill in on the top three publishers: Wiley, Pearson, and O’Reilly. Click on any chart to get a bigger image. The reason this is important, is that you typically see the imprint name on a book when you purchase it. (You’ll likely see the publisher inside the book on the copyright page, except for O’Reilly because our other imprints are distribution partners. That is, O’Reilly provides some sales and distribution services to these partners, but they are not owned or home-grown parts of their business, which is the case for Pearson and Wiley.)
Now that you have an idea of the imprints that make up the largest three publishers, let’s throw all the imprints together and then look at their respective market share. The following chart shows the top 10 “imprints” and how they stack up against each other. From this imprint-view, you’ll notice that O’Reilly has the second largest market share behind “Dummies” and Microsoft Press.
So what do the graphs tell us? The first notable thing is that O’Reilly moved ahead of the pack as the second largest imprint. The percentage in the pie chart is just for the titles represented in the chart, not market share. In the second ten, Wiley’s Sybex imprint moved ahead of Prentice Hall for the third spot in the list.
Before analyzing imprints by category, let’s revisit the data with Dollars rather than units. We have a fairly easy way of calculating this: units sold * listprice = dollars. Granted there are discounts, promotions, and other things that affect the precision of this, but it is pretty close, if nothing else you can think of this as “retail value.” So here are the top imprints from a revenue perspective. Again, this is at the imprint level and from a dollar perspective. As you can see compared to the publisher share above the leaderboard quickly changes. O’Reilly becomes the number one revenue-producing imprint, followed by Microsoft Press and then Dummies. Que disappears from the top ten and Prentice Hall climbs into the list.
Imprint Analysis by Category
Now that have seen high level picture of what imprints did in 2008, let’s take a look at which categories each of them publishes in and where their strengths lie. Dummies and O’Reilly appear to have the most diverse publishing programs as they are not at the bottom in any category. Dummies is clearly the leader in Business Apps and Consumer Operating Systems, while O’Reilly and Microsoft are neck and neck in the Systems and Programming category. O’Reilly enjoys a market position ahead of Microsoft Press mostly because of its strength in the Web Design/Development and Digital Media areas.
|Publishers’ Category Strength|
Categories and the Publishers who dominate them
The following category images are for 2008, and the tables have each publishers’ count of titles and sum of units. The top titles are also listed for each area in 2008.
Category: Systems and Programming
In this category you can see that Pearson has the largest market share among the publishers with O’Reilly second. If we drill into the imprint level, the picture changes a bit. The top six imprints are O’Reilly at 16.08%, Microsoft Press at 14.05%, Addison-Wesley at 8.42%, For Dummies at 7.41%, Sams at 6.25%, and Apress at 5.85%.
As you can see in the table below, Pearson’s and Wiley’s market share is primarily driven by title count, whereas Microsoft Press sells roughly twice as many units per title — they are the most efficient publisher in this space. O’Reilly’s performance is a mix of both. That is, we have quite a few titles, but our efficiency is also significantly above the market average.
Sys & Prog – Publisher Market Share ( 01/01/2008 – 12/31/2008 )
Note: This category family contains “programming languages” where more units were sold in 2008 than in 2007. The leading titles and publishers for Systems and Programming in 2008 were:
- RMC’s PMP Exam Prep: Rita’s Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam
- Addison Wesley’s Cocoa
- Wiley’s CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate Study Guide
- McGraw Hill’s: CISSP Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, 4th Ed.
- Cisco Press’s CCNA Official Exam Certification Library
- O’Reilly’s Learning Python
Category: Web Design and Development
In this category you can see that Pearson has the largest market share among the publishers with O’Reilly second. If we drill into the imprint level, the picture changes a bit. The top six imprints are O’Reilly at 19.17%, Dummies at 12.29%, Peachpit Press at 10.26%, Sams at 5.83%, Friends of Ed at 5.42% and Apress at 4.92%.
As you can see in the table below, Pearson has the most titles and their performance is strong in this category. In this category, most of the top publishers are above the title efficiency average of 1.0. (This suggests that there are a lot of second-tier publishers with lower efficiency who don’t show up in the table.)
Web Des & Dev – Publisher Market Share ( 01/01/2008 – 12/31/2008 )
The leading Titles and Publishers for Web Design and Development are:
- Peachpit’s HTML, XHTML, and CSS: Visual Quickstart
- O’Reilly’s Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual
- Wiley’s Building a Web Site For Dummies
- New Riders’ Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
- O’Reilly’s Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML
- Wiley’s WordPress For Dummies
Category: Business Applications
In this category you can see that Wiley has the largest market share among the publishers with Microsoft Press has moved ahead of Pearson for second. If we drill into the imprint level, the picture changes a bit. The top six imprints are Dummies at 28.21%, Microsoft Press at 18.37%, McGraw Hill/Osborne at 6.78%, O’Reilly at 6.19%, John Wiley at 5.76%, and Peachpit Press at 4.89%.
Bus Apps – Publisher Market Share ( 01/01/2008 – 12/31/2008 )
The leading Titles and Publishers for Business Applications are:
- Wiley’s Microsoft Office 2007 All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies
- McGraw Hill’s QuickBooks 2007 The Official Guide
- Wiley’s Excel 2007 for Dummies
- Microsoft’s Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Step by Step
- Wiley’s eBay For Dummies
- Wiley’s Excel 2003 for Dummies
Category: Consumer Operating Systems
In this category you can see that Wiley has the largest market share among the publishers with Pearson in second at 13%; O’Reilly has moved ahead of Microsoft Press for the third spot. (Apologies: the Pearson % is cut off in the graph.) If we drill into the imprint level, the picture changes a bit. The top six imprints are , For Dummies at 31.99%, O’Reilly at 15.47%, Microsoft Press at 9.52%, Que at 7.83%, Peachpit Press at 6.70%, and Wiley’s Visual at 6.21%.
As you can see in the table below, Wiley has the most titles and a relatively good efficiency rating. Microsoft Press also has a very healthy title efficiency rate. O’Reilly is the only other publisher with an efficiency rating higher than the market average.
Cons Opsys & Dev – Publisher Market Share ( 01/01/2008 – 12/31/2008 )
The leading Titles and Publishers for Consumer Operating Systems are:
- O’Reilly’s Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual
- Wiley’s Windows Vista For Dummies
- Microsoft’s Windows VIsta
- Wiley’s Windows Vista For Dummies: Special DVD Bundle
- Wiley’s Windows Vista All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies
- WIley’s Windows XP For Dummies
Category: Digital Media
In this category you can see that Pearson has regained the top spot with Wiley falling to second and O’Reilly moving up into the third position for all publishers in the Digital Media category. (Apologies: the Wiley %[23%] is cut off in the graph.) If we drill into the imprint level, the picture changes a bit. The top six imprints are Peachpit Press at 24.50%, For Dummies at 12.94%, O’Reilly at 12.65%, Focal Press at 11.27%, and Adobe Press at 9.88%, and New Riders at 7.79%.
As you can see in the table below, Pearson has the most titles and a relatively good efficiency rating. O’Reilly has the highest efficiency rate and best average units per title.
Digital Media – Publisher Market Share ( 01/01/2008 – 12/31/2008 )
The leading Titles and Publishers for Digital Media are:
- Adobe Press’s Adobe Photoshop CS3 Classroom in a Book
- New Rider’s The Adobe Photoshop CS3 Book for Digital Photographers
- WIley’s Photoshop Elements 6 For Dummies
- New Rider’s The Photoshop Elements 5 Book for Digital Photographers
- O’Reilly’s Photoshop Elements 6: The Missing Manual
- Peachpit’s Photoshop CS3 for Windows and Macintosh
Next Up, The Languages