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Book publishing industry, 2014

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Released: 2016-05-19

The book publishers industry generated operating revenue of $1.7 billion in 2014. Operating expenses were $1.5 billion, which resulted in an operating profit margin of 11.7%.

Salaries, wages, commissions and benefits totalled $345.5 million, representing 23.3% of total operating expenses. The largest contributor to operating expenses was the cost of goods sold (33.9%).

Book publishers in Ontario (66.7%) accounted for the largest share of the industry's operating revenues, followed by Quebec (26.6%) and British Columbia (3.5%).

Total sales of own and exclusive agency titles amounted to $1.4 billion, of which 81.8% were domestic sales in Canada and the remaining 18.2% were exports. Most domestic sales came from publishers' own titles (72.4%), with the two top contributing commercial categories being educational titles ($366.1 million) and other trade titles ($331.3 million), which include fiction and non-fiction mass market books.

Because of the restructuring of book publishers over the past two years, foreign-owned companies contributed a larger portion of publishers' own titles sales in Canada ($472.9 million) than Canadian-owned companies ($335.4 million).

The largest customer category for book publishers' sales of own and exclusive agency titles in Canada was bookstores and other trade sales ($517.3 million), such as department stores, followed by educational institutions ($190.0 million) and exclusive agents, distributors and wholesalers ($179.5 million).

Sales of Canadian authors ($681.3 million) and foreign authors ($683.5 million) continued to be relatively even. Publishers' sales of own titles in Canada accounted for the majority of sales of Canadian authors ($528.3 million).

English-language books accounted for 79.2% of sales, while French-language and other languages represented the remaining 20.8%. Of total sales of own and exclusive agency titles, 13.1% were e-book sales. In total, 14,218 new titles were published, 10,433 of which were titles by Canadian authors.

  Note to readers

Changes to the methodology were made to the Survey of Service Industries: Book Publishers. Users should, therefore, exercise caution when comparing 2014 data with historical datasets. For more information on the methodology changes, consult the document on the Integrated Business Statistics Program in the Behind the data feature of our website.

Beginning with this release, data are based on the 2012 North American Industry Classification System.

The publication, Book Publishers (Catalogue number87F0004X), is no longer available. Data from the Survey of Service Industries: Book Publishers will now be released in CANSIM.

With this release, CANSIM tables 361-0088 and 361-0089 are replacing CANSIM tables 361-0007 and 361-0030, which have now been terminated.

Contact information

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