Digital fails to curb number of books published in US

Digital fails to curb number of books published in US

Traditional US print book output increased 5% in 2010, despite the huge growth in e-books, though there was a continuing fall in the number of fiction titles published.

According to Bowker's annual book production report US publishers produced 316,480 new titles and editions in the 12 months, compared to 302,410 in 2009, which itself showed growth of 4% on 2008. The non-traditional sector, largely on-demand titles that may never actually be printed and self-published books, continues what Bowker described as "explosive growth", increasing 169% from 1,033,065 titles in 2009 to 2,776,260 in 2010.

Kelly Gallagher, vice-president of publishing services for Bowker, said: "These publication figures from both traditional and non-traditional publishers confirm that print production is alive and well, and can still be supported in this highly dynamic marketplace. Especially on the non-traditional side, we’re seeing the reprint business’ internet-driven business model expand dramatically. It will be interesting to see in the coming years how well it succeeds in the long-term.”

Fiction, which is still the largest category (nearly 15% of the total) dropped 3% from 2009, continuing a decline from peak output in 2007. The second largest segment, books for juveniles, also fell, down from 33,028 to 32,638. Science and technology were the leading areas of growth.

In the non-traditional area the top 'publishers', BiblioBazaar, General Books and Kessinger Publishing specialise in reproducing out of print or new works based on the web for on-demand. However, self-publishers such as CreateSpace, Lulu, Xlibris, and AuthorHouse, published closed to 65,000 titles between them.

The numbers dwarf those from the UK, where according to Nielsen 151,969 new titles were published in 2010, a leap of 14% on the output number given this time last year.