Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bowker Says 2009 U.S. Book Production Flat

Yesterday R.R. Bowker, the official U.S. ISBN agency, released their stats the publishing industry in the United States for 2009:
Based on preliminary figures from U.S. publishers, Bowker is projecting that traditional U.S. title output in 2009 was virtually unchanged. Output of new titles and editions dropped less than half a percent, from 289,729 in 2008 to a projected 288,355 in 2009.
Notice the emphasis on traditional title output.

Non-traditional publishing, which includes self-publishing and on-demand reprints were up dramatically:
Bowker projects that 764,448 titles were produced that fall outside Bowker’s traditional publishing and classification definitions. This number is a 181% increase over 2008 -- which doubled 2007’s output – driving total book production over 1,000,000 units for the first time.
Comparing the traditional category to the non-traditional for the past few years, you can see the staggering growth on the non-traditional side.

2006______ 274,416_____________21,936
2007______ 284,370____________123,276
2008______ 289,729____________271,851
2009______ 288,355____________764,448

According to Publishers Weekly:
The [non-traditional] category consists largely of reprints, including those of public domain titles, plus other titles that are produced using print-on-demand production. According to Bowker, the largest producer of nontraditional books last year was [#1] BiblioBazaar which produced 272,930 titles, followed by [#2] Books LLC and [#3] Kessinger Publishing LLC which produced 224,460 and 190,175 titles, respectively.
The large self-publishing companies were clustered together as [#6] Lulu with 10,386 titles; [#7] Xlibris with 10,161; and [#8] AuthorHouse with 9,445 in the top ten non-traditional publishers.

Fiction, the top genre, was down 15% over 2008 with 45,181 titles in 2009 versus 53,058 the previous year. On the other hand, the second highest production category--Juveniles--was up 8.5% at 32,348 titles in 2009. Bowker indicated "Categories that grew tended to be in areas that could contribute to workplace knowledge and budgeting. For example, output increased in technology (+11%), science (+9%) and personal finance (+9)."

Go here to read the entire press release from Bowker.

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