Publishing proliferates thanks to POD and digital

Publishing proliferates thanks to POD and digital

Print on demand, digital and self-publishing are continuing to push up the number of books published in the UK and overseas, according to new output data issued by Nielsen Book. The statistics also reveal that the number of publishers has risen with 2010 seeing 3,151 new publishers registering for an ISBN, the highest for 10 years.

Nielsen 2010 book output figures show that 151,969 new titles were published in 2010, a leap of 14% on the output number given this time last year. The figure is derived from the number of ISBNs Nielsen issues over the year. However, the 2009 figure, of 133,000, has since been increased to 157,039 because of the late addition of digital titles in that year, a factor that may also further increase the 2010 figure. It means that year-on-year book production fell 3.2%, though the trend shows that output has soared: since 2008 it is up 13%, and  since 2001, the market has risen by close to 40%.

Nielsen attributes the growth to improved data collection, print-on-demand titles, and the publishing of works in multiple formats, including digital. It notes that in the Irish market output has trebled year-on-year, while globally (excluding the UK and Ireland) the number of new English-language titles published in 2010 was more than 4.2m, compared with about 1.3m in 2009.

The data shows that in 2010 3,151 new publishers registered to receive ISBNs, up from 3,007 in 2009. Nielsen attributed this growth to companies allowing authors to self publish. "So the number of new publishers entering the market will very much depend, in the future, on the route to market".

The trend of increased book output and growth in self-publishing has also previously been noted by Bowker, which measures book production in the US, and which reported that in 2009 more than one million titles were published for the first time ever in 2009. The growth was fueled by another year of extraordinary growth in self-publishing and on-demand books, up 181% year-on-year and by a staggering 2,242% since 2002. Output from traditional publishers actually fell.