Thursday, May 29, 2008

Preliminary 2007 Books Stats Are Out

Bowker, the official ISBN agency for the United States and publisher of Books In Print, has released its preliminary stats for 2007. Here are excerpts from its press release:
Based on preliminary figures from U.S. publishers, Bowker is projecting that U.S. title output in 2007 increased slightly to 276,649 new titles and editions, up from the 274,416 that were published in 2006.

While traditional book publishing was basically flat last year, there was a staggering rise in the reported number of "On Demand" and short-run books to 134,773, pushing the grand total for projected 2007 U.S. book output to 411,422 books.

Bowker has decided to separate out the print-on-demand (POD) titles from its traditional stats.

Remember, we're talking about ISBN titles, not a traditional publisher that uses POD to print additional copies of an existing title. The numbers do not include audiobooks or e-books.
"The most startling development last year is the reporting of 'On Demand' titles, leading to a stunning five-fold increase of new titles in the unclassified category, which mostly consists of reprints of public domain titles and other short-run books," said Gallagher. "It will be interesting to monitor this category in 2008 in order to get a sense of whether this is a sustainable trend or a one-year spike" . . .

According to Gallagher, among the major publishing categories, the big winners last year were once again Fiction and Literature. There were 50,071 new fiction titles introduced in the U.S. last year, up 17% from 2006 . . . Similarly, there was a 19% rise in new literature books last year to 9,796 . . .

"Adult fiction continues to be a reliable category in the U.S. book publishing industry and one of the niches that a number of publishers have counted on through the peaks and valleys of the past several years," said Gallagher. "On the other hand, it's noteworthy that juvenile title output, which makes up more than one out of every 10 new books introduced into the U.S. market, was down again slightly last year . . ."

Go here to read the entire press release.

1 comment:

Sean McLachlan said...

Thanks for posting these figures and for your earlier posts on sales figures. They are a potent tonic to the shrill posts on the newsgroups foreseeing the demise of the industry. These are usually posted by self-publishers or epublishers who devoutly wish the traditional publishers that rejected them will fail.

I have nothing against ebooks or self-publishing per se, a good book is a good book, but traditional publishing is still the way to go if you want to make a living at writing. I don't know how I'd pay to mortgage if I only wrote ebooks or had to pay for publication.

Of course, the publishing industry is in flux, but I have a feeling it always has been. The midlists is shrinking, and smaller companies are being gobbled up by bigger ones. It's a tough business, so it's important to read the sensible blogs. Keep at it!