Thursday, May 19, 2011

The book industry seems to be alive and well

The internet provides people so many more options.  When Anything Can Be A “Book,” Anything Is A Book–At Least 3.1 Million In 2010 Alone has what I consider great news:

It’s time for the reporting of annual publishing statistics and as usual, the most profound numbers for us are the unreported ones. The bigger and more technologically-fueled book publishing gets, the less we actually know about the universe in which we all work. It all comes back to the metadata mess, in which many newer players do not use standard identifiers at all for their books, and even traditional players have not agreed on a single practice.

The “known universe” clearly continues to expand, and we infer that the darker “unknown universe” is doing the same. Today, Bowker’s Books In Print reports their preliminary estimates of print books published in 2010. The big number is the continuing explosion of public-domain reprints and self-published works that exist primarily as files promoted on the web in case someone wants to pay to print one. These “nontraditional” books published with ISBNs last year grew to 2.776 million works, well up from 1.033 million such titles in 2009.

When we adopted our son two years ago, Janine and our second daughter created a book about him being a part of our forever family.  It was relatively easy to do and it looks great. 

The industry is still in transistion.  The article goes on to say:

Self-publishers monitored by Bowker are growing at over 10 percent. CreateSpace led the field, with about 34,000 titles. Lulu was in second place with 11,000, followed by Xlibris at 10,700 and AuthorHouse with 8,500 (or about 64,000 titles as group). Last year the top 5 self-publishers, also including PublishAmerica, accounted for 57,500 titles. Remember that self-publishers who do not use ISBNs for all (Blurb) or some (Lulu) of their books are not included in these totals.

Also still not included at all are ebooks, whether self- or independently-published, or digital-only works from traditional publishers. We know that means the published counts are “missing” works in the six-figures, but we don’t know anything more than that. As an example, Barnes & Noble’s PubIt launched in October 2010 and already has 90,000 titles or more.

We live in such an amazing world.

Hat tip: Valerie Bonham Moon

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