AP Stylebook Sales, Web Traffic Increase

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Looking to write a story about the Associated Press Stylebook’s Web site redesign, I interviewed a few of the people who help run the site and the printed version of the stylebook. They told me that Web traffic had increased, which led me to think that sales of the printed version had likely decreased.  Not so.

In recent years, print sales have increased by 100 percent from 30,000 in 2004 to 60,000 in 2008. Part of this growth, some at the AP believe, has to do with displaced journalists introducing the stylebook to colleagues in their new jobs outside of journalism.

To find out more about this, you can read my latest Poynter Online story, “AP Stylebook Sales, Web Traffic Increase, Attract New Audiences.”

At a time when struggling news organizations are outsourcing copy editors and slashing copy desks, the Associated Press Stylebook is maintaining its place in newsrooms and is steadily growing its audience — online and in print.

Sales for the AP Stylebook have increased significantly in recent years, from 30,000 in 2004 to 60,000 in 2008. Traffic on the AP Stylebook Web site, which was redesigned last month, is also growing. Monthly page views are at 300,000 — a 3 to 4 percent increase from before the redesign and a 6.5 percent increase from last year. There’s talk, too, about a mobile version of the style guide being released this summer.

Though its primary audience remains journalists and college students, some at the AP suspect that former journalists are using the style guide in their new jobs and introducing it to professionals in different industries.


I’ve also recently moderated or helped set up some Poynter live chats, includingHow Do I Help Students Handle Information Overload on Social Media Sites?,” “Jay Rosen Returns to Discuss Best Practices in Teaching People to Blog” and “From a Job in Journalism to Public Communications, What Happened, David Lee Simmons?