Books news and publishing industry statistics

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72 Responses to “Books news and publishing industry statistics”


  1. Great discussion. And I REALLY like that you practice what you preach. That’s when you can tell a post has come together.
    And I’m also fascinated by how fresh you made the routine [admit it: what you just shared has been regurgitated millions of time. ;-) ].
    Ben Johnson said people don’t need taught as much as they need reminding.
    Good work.


  2. VQR (Fall 2010 issue) cited Assn of American Publishers to indicate combined book sales in US were less than 25 million in 2009. This VQR issue is on the “paperless revolution” and at first glance it looks to be very interesting reading. However, VQR’s fact checker must be asleep at the switch – or AAP is bad source. That is, book sales must be greater by a factor of 10 (or more).

    Thought I would do a quick google search to get the “right” number. However, it’s not so easy. Do you have reliable data?


  3. Yes, Frank, I agree–that certainly sounds “off.” Have you tried the Bowker site to see if they have any data?

    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!


  4. [...] according to the web site Self Publishing Resources, “8,000 to 11,000 &#1495&#1077w publishers enter the field [...]


  5. [...] that there is an astonishing–and growing–number of self-publishers. According to the web site Self Publishing Resources, “8,000 to 11,000 new publishers enter the field every year; they are mostly [...]


  6. “The average number of copies sold per title of a POD company that printed 10,000 different titles: 75 books.”

    That makes me feel a lot better about the 1,800 of my POD books that have sold so far. I believe one reason POD books don’t sell is that authors do not know how much promotion is involved.

    Writing is the easy part. Promotions and selling require time, time, time and more time.


  7. Behind the Velvet Curtain is a self-pub book. Through rejected several times by publishers, I have faith and will not loose faith. Thanks…keep it up!


  8. [...] giving shelf space and inventory cash to self-published titles. But don’t let this depress you: Selfpublishingresources.com claims that 52% of all books sold are purchased outside of these “brick-and-mortar” bookstores; [...]


  9. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nellie Jacobs, rettabach. rettabach said: RT @nelliejacobs: Excellent article for anyone who is interested in #selfpublishing: http://bit.ly/hJ6lvx [...]


  10. Very interesting article. Technology has in many ways levelled the playing field, while altering the way we live and do business. It has caused many doors to shut, but, so many more to also open.


  11. [...] Found this article the other day re some interesting publishing/self-publishing data.  The cites are at the bottom of the article. There are a few dozen bullet points here to peruse through but here are the ones I find most interesting: [...]


  12. [...] [1] http://selfpublishingresources.com/resources/books-news-and-publishing-industry-statistics [...]


  13. [...] Here are some fascinating publishing industry statistics about the book industry in general and book news on self-publishing in particular. This is featured onhttp://selfpublishingresources.com/resources/books-news-and-publishing-industry-statistics/ [...]


  14. [...] Sources: Bowkers, Self-Publishing Resources. [...]


  15. [...] aren’t the only ones turning to self-publishing–in fact, it is estimated that nearly 80% of books published each year are either self-published or published by small publishing companie…. Consequently, many business owners are re-evaluating their options to see whether self publishing [...]


  16. I would like to know the price to self-publish a book. How much will a printer charge me per book? How much should I sell the book to a store for. How much profit should I expect per book. If the book costs two dollars to print a book how much should I ask for each book?

    No I have not asked this question yet


  17. Barbara–The price per book will depend on a number of factors, including number of pages, trim size, color use, bleeds or no bleeds, as well as the printer you are using. As far as pricing…ideally your book is priced at 7 times the unit cost, so a book that costs $2 to print would price at $14. However, there are other factors to take into consideration as well, including what other books of a similar size and in the same genre are going for. It’s easy enough to get on Amaozn and check out the competition. You don’t want to price too high or too low…there’s definitely a balance.


  18. My name is Barbie and I would like to bring to the attention of a scam. xulonpress,com
    is ripping people off left and right. A friend of mine had his book pulblished by them and they swear up and down that there have been no sales. The author has bought many of his own books-hundreds and sold them to people. Likewise I and other people have bought his book also. Hundreds of books have been bought and xulonpress swears on a stack of bibles that there have been no sales. They claim to be a Christian publishing house.
    They stink. Beware of them!


  19. [...] Books news and publishing industry statistics [...]


  20. [...] to Self Publishing Resources, 8,000 to 11,000 new publishers enter the field every year; most of them are self [...]


  21. [...] people than it is to me and other authors who share head space in the sand: The highly reliable SPR (Self Publishing Resources) reports (bullet-point number 30) that their studies and research show “most readers do not [...]


  22. [...] “Many famous authors and their books were rejected multiple times. Publishers turned down Richard Bach’s Johnathan Livingston Seagull no less than 140 times; Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind received 38 “no’s,” while Stephen King’s Carrie was turned down 30 times. J. K. Rowling’s original work was pooh-poohed by 12 publishers…guess who’s kicking themselves now that they passed on Harry Potter? And E. E. Cummings first work—The Enormous Room, now considered a masterpiece—was ultimately self-published…and dedicated to the 15 publishers who rejected it.”   -selfpublishingresources.com [...]


  23. [...] http://selfpublishingresources.com/resources/books-news-and-publishing-industry-statistics/ The size of the small press movement is estimated to be $13 billion to $17 billion a year, as opposed to trade publishers who are responsible for bringing in $26 billion.  52 percent of all books are not sold in bookstores! They are merchandised via mail order, online, in discount or warehouse stores, through book clubs, in nontraditional retail outlets, etc.  64 percent of book buyers say a book’s being on a bestseller list is not important.  Bookstores are famous for returning books to publishers. The industry return rate is typically 36 percent for hardcovers and 25 percent for soft covers.  It takes an average of 475 hours to write a novel. Fiction is considered successful if it sells 5,000 copies. Writing a nonfiction book requires about 725 hours. A nonfiction book is deemed successful when it reaches 7,500 copies sold.  [...]


  24. I just like the valuable information you provide on your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at again right here regularly. I’m slightly sure I?ll learn plenty of new stuff proper here! Best of luck for the next!


  25. [...] All of this ebook talk is becoming a business in itself. Money is being made out of thin air in this strange new speculative meta-practice: there are seminars, conferences and courses springing up everywhere, even at the Society of Authors (a writers’ union which, until recently, was largely against epublication). Television and radio programmes are being made about self-epublishing (I’ve personally been asked to speak about it on 12 occasions since August). Everyone can be a writer now: it only takes 10 minutes to upload your own ebook, and according to the New York Times “81% of people feel they have a book in them … And should write it” [...]


  26. [...] All of this ebook talk is becoming a business in itself. Money is being made out of thin air in this strange new speculative meta-practice: there are seminars, conferences and courses springing up everywhere, even at the Society of Authors (a writers’ union which, until recently, was largely against epublication). Television and radio programmes are being made about self-epublishing (I’ve personally been asked to speak about it on 12 occasions since August). Everyone can be a writer now: it only takes 10 minutes to upload your own ebook, and according to the New York Times “81% of people feel they have a book in them … And should write it” [...]


  27. [...] All of this ebook talk is becoming a business in itself. Money is being made out of thin air in this strange new speculative meta-practice: there are seminars, conferences and courses springing up everywhere, even at the Society of Authors (a writers’ union which, until recently, was largely against epublication). Television and radio programmes are being made about self-epublishing (I’ve personally been asked to speak about it on 12 occasions since August). Everyone can be a writer now: it only takes 10 minutes to upload your own ebook, and according to the New York Times “81% of people feel they have a book in them … And should write it” [...]


  28. [...] All of this ebook talk is becoming a business in itself. Money is being made out of thin air in this strange new speculative meta-practice: there are seminars, conferences and courses springing up everywhere, even at the Society of Authors (a writers’ union which, until recently, was largely against epublication). Television and radio programmes are being made about self-epublishing (I’ve personally been asked to speak about it on 12 occasions since August). Everyone can be a writer now: it only takes 10 minutes to upload your own ebook, and according to the New York Times “81% of people feel they have a book in them … And should write it” [...]


  29. [...] All of this ebook talk is becoming a business in itself. Money is being made out of thin air in this strange new speculative meta-practice: there are seminars, conferences and courses springing up everywhere, even at the Society of Authors (a writers’ union which, until recently, was largely against epublication). Television and radio programmes are being made about self-epublishing (I’ve personally been asked to speak about it on 12 occasions since August). Everyone can be a writer now: it only takes 10 minutes to upload your own ebook, and according to the New York Times “81% of people feel they have a book in them … And should write it” [...]


  30. [...] All of this ebook talk is becoming a business in itself. Money is being made out of thin air in this strange new speculative meta-practice: there are seminars, conferences and courses springing up everywhere, even at the Society of Authors (a writers’ union which, until recently, was largely against epublication). Television and radio programmes are being made about self-epublishing (I’ve personally been asked to speak about it on 12 occasions since August). Everyone can be a writer now: it only takes 10 minutes to upload your own ebook, and according to the New York Times “81% of people feel they have a book in them … And should write it” [...]


  31. [...] All of this ebook talk is becoming a business in itself. Money is being made out of thin air in this strange new speculative meta-practice: there are seminars, conferences and courses springing up everywhere, even at the Society of Authors (a writers’ union which, until recently, was largely against epublication). Television and radio programmes are being made about self-epublishing (I’ve personally been asked to speak about it on 12 occasions since August). Everyone can be a writer now: it only takes 10 minutes to upload your own ebook, and according to the New York Times “81% of people feel they have a book in them … And should write it” [...]


  32. [...] writer now: it only takes 10 minutes to upload your own ebook, and according to the New York Times "81% of people feel they have a book in them … And should write it"But all of this gives me an alarming sense of deja vu. There's another name for what happens when [...]


  33. [...] All of this e-book talk is becoming a business in itself. Money is being made out of thin air in this strange new speculative meta-practice: there are seminars, conferences and courses springing up everywhere, even at the Society of Authors (a writers’ union which, until recently, was largely against e-publication). Television and radio programmes are being made about self-epublishing (I’ve personally been asked to speak about it on 12 occasions since August). Everyone can be a writer now: it only takes 10 minutes to upload your own e-book, and according to the New York Times “81% of people feel they have a book in them … And should write it” [...]


  34. [...] All of this e-book talk is becoming a business in itself. Money is being made out of thin air in this strange new speculative meta-practice: there are seminars, conferences and courses springing up everywhere, even at the Society of Authors (a writers’ union which, until recently, was largely against e-publication). Television and radio programmes are being made about self-epublishing (I’ve personally been asked to speak about it on 12 occasions since August). Everyone can be a writer now: it only takes 10 minutes to upload your own e-book, and according to the New York Times “81% of people feel they have a book in them … And should write it” [...]


  35. I would also add that by the time you are done putzing around trying to beg and plead a publisher or an agent to consider your works, you can have the book done, ready and already selling on the Internet. I would also argue you stand a better chance of becoming a successful writer self-publishing and then getting recognized by a publisher or agent than cold calling or going the traditional route. Of course, if you’re already successful self-publishing why trade in your 70% commission for a paltry 5-25% commission?


  36. I would love to refer more people to this page, as so many of these stats are interesting and potentially powerful. However, too many lack citations and some contradict each other, while the veracity of others call the entire list into question. For example, “Online purchases represented 28 percent of books bought, while 89 percent came from a brick-and-mortar retailer” clearly can’t be correct with that math.

    With so much misinformation out there, you really should be clear about where you’re pulling information from and take responsibility for tracking down sources instead of just citing another website that likewise has no primary sources cited. Real citations noting where, exactly, each bit of information comes from and links enabling readers to find out more on their own (when possible) would make this a truly useful resource.


  37. [...] is the cover. A bookstore browser will spend on average eight seconds looking at the front cover[source]. That might seem too short to worry about, but in eight seconds a book cover [...]


  38. [...] However, if you want to really make your career in this business, the best thing to do would be to work for some of the larger publishing houses like Harper Collins and Random House. Jobs for the larger companies can be really competitive though, so looking into a mid-sized publishing company is also a good ideas. There are a lot more of them than of the large companies, somewhere between 300 and 400. [...]


  39. [...] have the makings of a book in their brains, and that they should publish that book. An estimated 25 million novels and how-to books have already been written by Internet users in the U.S. but have yet to be [...]


  40. Do you think it takes into consideration book-social sites like http://booklikes.com/ when it comes to bookstores or book covers?


  41. I’d like to know where Josh Epstein the author of the New York Times article cited as saying ““According to a recent survey, 81 percent of people feel that they have a book in them…and should write it.” got his survey data from. He says its a well-known survey. Well I couldn’t find that survey online. Do you know where he got the figure from?


  42. [...] Books news and publishing industry statistics | Self-Publishing Resources. [...]


  43. [...] *http://selfpublishingresources.com/resources/books-news-and-publishing-industry-statistics/ [...]


  44. [...] have the makings of a book in their brains, and that they should publish that book. An estimated 25 million novels and how-to books have already been written by Internet users in the U.S. but have yet to be [...]


  45. [...] have the makings of a book in their brains, and that they should publish that book. An estimated 25 million novels and how-to books have already been written by Internet users in the U.S. but have yet to be [...]


  46. [...] On July 10, 2012, the book sales of The Concubine Saga (both novels) reached 10,000 copies (combined sales of hardcover, paperback, and e-books). In the publishing industry, “Fiction is considered successful if it sells 5,000 copies. … A nonfiction book is deemed successful when it reaches 7,500 copies sold.” Source: Self-Publishing Resources.com [...]


  47. [...] writer now: it only takes 10 minutes to upload your own ebook, and according to the New York Times "81% of people feel they have a book in them … And should write it"But all of this gives me an alarming sense of deja vu. There's another name for what happens when [...]


  48. [...] there are 58.5 million affluent adults in the U.S., meaning they earn at least $100k per year. Of those 58.5 million, 66 percent have at least one Apple device and 98 percent use the Internet 26 …. Affluents do not consider themselves wealthy and they make a conscious effort to spend less money [...]


  49. [...] by Jennifer Blanchard • 0 CommentsThe New York Times recently reported the results from a book publishing survey, which discovered that 81% of the population plans to write a book in their lifetime. That’s [...]


  50. [...] not far off, actually, if you believe the statistic that over 80% of Americans think they have a book in them. Maybe this speaks to the egocentricity of Americans, our love for the written word, or something [...]


  51. i’d like to know how many new writers query agents and publishers annually vs how many actually get a book published… can you point me to a site that has this info?

    thanks for all the helpful stuff above… it’s a great boon to me, as i mentor aspiring writers of all breeds…

    love and hugs, maia


  52. [...] is being published these days via the Internet and (POD) Print on Demand. (Stats according to Marilyn and Tom Ross . This means there is a large market that is as yet not fully [...]


  53. I find these self-published articles very frustrating. Nothing appears to be dated. Are these stats from 2006 or 2010? Every stat should bear a date, as should the article itself. Am I just missing them?


  54. [...] From 8,000 to 11,000 new publishers enter the field every year; they are mostly self-publishers. [...]


  55. Ebooks can be very Profitable but u have to start some where


  56. [...] the web site, book publishing resources states that there are 1.5 million books in print at any given time. Somebody is reading all those [...]


  57. [...] Self Publishing Resources. Check out this interesting page of book statistics. [...]


  58. ” A nonfiction book is deemed successful when it reaches 7,500 copies sold.” Source: Self-Publishing Resources.com” Reading this, I am encouraged counting my POD paperback non-fiction sales over 2.5 years that I will meet the “successful non fiction book sales” before the end of this year 2013 . The topic is satisfying an ever growing niche market, so I expect my sales to grow each year for many years. The book has made me an Expert in my field which is another thing I can begin to capitalize on now. The POD publisher Outskirts Press does monthly PR press releases. Although they for some strange reason dont alert me personally (you’d think it would be good for their business to encourage their Top 10 Authors even more but they dont ) so I have to find out I made it to the Top 10 Best Books of the Month by getting the fabulous Google Alerts on both my name and my book title. My book has made it to the publishers top 10 best book sales list more months than it has been off since almost the beginning and still continues over 2 years. However it is all through entirely my own marketing efforts and not the POD Publishers efforts.

    DOWNSIDE #1:Although I placed a book description /ad in Barns and Noble and Ingram’s wholesale / distributor “Returns Insurance” fee of $500 per year — a total waste of money- as sales to these stores were so negligible despite the fact they could return the books. I will take a cue from another blogger and dedicate my book to Brick and Mortar bookstores and libraries who are missing out on $2500 books a year, and all those traditional publishers who turned me down
    .
    DOWNSIDE #2: With Outskirts Press they have a policy of not revealing the buyers of my books. These are the same buyer leads that “I” “have spent much time diligently scouting them in my target market, then educating, and nurturing them. When they finally get on board and buy direct from the publisher, I am left out of the loop by the POD publishers very frustrating policy — I cannot thank my buyers as I dont know which ones bought books, nor nurture then on upcoming books. In effect, this policy removes the “relationship” between buyer and author, which is further limiting sales.

    DOWNSIDE #3: This episode made me mad.. I had published Ebooks along with my paperback books. I sold these on the Outskirts press bookstore, Amazon. Ebay and my own Website http://www.TuiRoseTips.com. After about 1.5 years I questioned why my Ebook sales were less than 1% of the paperback sales and I became suspicious. There is no way to track all ebook customers. I could have had 10,000 ebook sales for all that matter, but how would I know? At least with paperback sales I can get an audit done of the printer which the POD publisher uses. But there is absolutely no method to check PDF ebooks stored on digital files that get emailed to my customers.
    Something didnt feel tight inside. My suspicion caused me to look online. I googled my own name and book title and Woah! Up popped at least 10 online websites indulging in infringing upon my copyright of the Ebook–illegally advertising my title “Going Green Using Doatomaceosu EEarth How to Tips


  59. …..Continued… Sorry, the above got send accidentally before my story and warning to authors was finished, so the last line has unedited typos and there’s more–it should read: Illegally advertising my title “Going Green Using Diatomaceous Earth How-To Tips”. I found 10 online websites illegally using my Ebook in their ads to lure visitors to their websites. They advertised my book as a product they were selling. I took screen shots, then went through the process of trying to buy my own product to see where it lead to. Hold onto your seats! The biggest culprit was Amazon! They already had my Ebook on their website legally. BUT they were advertising my book for illegal nefarious reason.

    Each step of the way, as I tracked their process I took more and more screen shots. They led me to 10 other online websites also illegally offering my Ebook for FREE!. I took screen shots of these other sites, and tried to order a coupon that offered my free Ebook . The coupons came in my email , but of course, as expected, no free Ebook came as promised and advertised! I asked where my free Ebook was as promoted. Of course, got no response. What I also got on some of the other infringing violator’s websites was both email spa–only illegally to other product selections of all kinds imaginable sold on Amazon, but not even books.

    Consequently, I wrote to Amazon internally through my webpage link and asked them to remove my Ebook from their site. I also removed it from Outskirts Press, my own website and Ebay, so I get no Ebook sales. Ebooks are so easy to digitally steal., ripping off royalties the author rightly deserves.

    Yet my Ebook still remains illegally on about 10 other websites. I contacted a copyright lawyer. He said he could not represent me as I did not have a copyright registration at the copyright office. I thought my POD publisher Outskirts Press had taken care of this as I had bought their most expensive “Diamond Package. They said in their defense, “your work is still protected anyway,” BUT, the caveat is, if someone steals your work, no lawyer will represent you without that “registered” copyright.

    Hence, once knowing that, I applied for a “special handling copyright form” to fill out which can be sent in to the copyright office with an explanation of the infringement that “ma”y be processed in as little as 5 days as opposed to about 6-9 months typically.

    The good thing is, there is a 5 years Statute of Limitations on book copyright infringement, and my book is still within that SOL should I follow up with legal action.

    It is very important for Ebook authors to know if you are using Amazon–In my personal experience, they are at the lead of using these other websites to rip off your ebook, give it away free, to lure visitors back to other products on Amazon or these other affiliated websites. You could be losing allot of money in unpaid royalties on your digital copyright infringed title. I’m so glad I just didnt rely on making POD Ebooks. Its not true that this is the up and coming market with all the Kindles, Ipads and other digital readers out there. My story isn’t finished yet. This is an ongoing process i intend to get to the bottom of.

    Does anyone know a book layout designer?


  60. [...] http://selfpublishingresources.com/resources/books-news-and-publishing-industry-statistics/ [...]


  61. If you ask me E Books are just link bait or a means to get customers or clients interested in your site to buy your “Real” product. It’s almost a JOKE what some people are throwing together and called “EBOOKS” these days. Long gone are the days where ppl actually put thought and effort into ebooks, rather they copy and paste and “Claim” they are solely responsible for the content.


  62. I have to agree with you. Because it is so easy now, a lot of people publish their work with very little thought and even less editing. Thanks for weighing in!


  63. Hi all, I m looking for some market data on publishing in Russia both print and ebooks

    Thank you


  64. Hi–Thanks for the comment, but I’m afraid that is outside of my area of expertise.


  65. Hi Tui—Wow, thanks so much for sharing all that! Your experience with Outskirts sounds unpleasant—which is pretty typical. And why I do not recommend self-publishers who are interested in making a profit not go with a vanity press. It’s best to create your own publishing company and publish under your own imprint so you can avoid all the downsides you’ve mentioned. I hope you are able to figure out how to stop those sites from illegally selling your book. If you would be interested in blogging about it in a guest post on my blog, I would love to post that. Just let me know if you are interested. And as far as book designers, you can contact me about that as well. Sue at SelfPublishingResources dot com. Thanks so much!


  66. [...] News and Publishing Industry Statistics,” Self-Publishing Resources, posted May 2010, http://selfpublishingresources.com/resources/books-news-and-publishing-industry-statistics/ Like this:Like Loading… This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged Author, diy, Dog Ear [...]


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  69. Does anyone know the statistics for spiritual books sold in Canada or U.S in 2011 or 2012.????


  70. Hi–No, I don’t have that information. It’s tough to track sales so specifically. If you do find out, please do let me know. Thanks!


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