According to final statistics from the Association of American Publishers, sales for the religion press category rose 21.9% last year, to $1.42 billion. The increase was the first for religion publishing and followed a 8% decline in 2020.
Hardcover sales made up most of the revenue, increasing 58.4% from 2020 to $846.6 million (16.7% of sales). Downloadable audio sales saw a 57.5% increase over 2020, making up 7% of sales and over $100 million in revenue—surpassing e-book sales for the first time. E-books fell 0.4% to $98.2 million, and accounted for 6.7% of sales.
The findings are a part of AAP's final estimate of total industry sales, which combines sales directly supplied by publishers with projections for companies that do not report data to the association. Nine ECPA members supply data to the report. Earlier in the year, the AAP reported that sales for religion reporting presses rose 11% in 2021 over 2020.
Sales for the entire publishing increased 12.3% over 2020, hitting $29.33 billion, up from $26.1 billion in 2020.