The Top Ten Publishers in America

For years, we have said that we are the largest Christian publisher and the ninth largest trade publisher in America. However, I have never really been able to get at the data behind this claim. Now I have it. As it turns out, we are bigger than I thought relative to other trade publishers. We are still the largest Christian publisher, but we are actually the sixth largest trade publisher.

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Over the past several months, we have compiled a proprietary database made up of various point-of-sale databases. It includes all the major retail sales channels. It does not include international, ministry, book fairs, direct-to-consumer sales, etc. If it did, we would be higher on the list because of our robust ministry, school fundraising, and live event sales. Scholastic would also be higher on the list because of their huge book fair business. However, this database only tracks sales through retail channels.

We are now updating this on a monthly basis. As far as I know, we are the only publisher in world who has this information.

Based on the twelve months ending November 30, the top ten trade publishers are:

Top Ten Trade Publishers
1Random House17.2%
3Simon & Schuster9.2%
6Thomas Nelson4.8%
7St. Martin’s3.2%
9John Wiley & Sons1.7%
Total Top Ten67.5%

*Includes Zondervan

The top ten Christian publishers are:

Top Ten Christian Publishers
1Thomas Nelson25.7%
5Broadman & Holman4.0%
7Harvest House2.4%
Total Top Ten80.3%

My goal is for Thomas Nelson to become a top three trade publisher by 2012.

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