Self-publishing helps POD take the lead in US

<p>The number of print-on-demand titles published in the US has exceeded the number of traditional books produced for the first time ever, according to bibliographic data provider Bowker.</p><p>US title output in 2008 decreased by 3.2%, with 275,232 new titles and editions, down from the 284,370 titles that were published in 2007. By contrast Bowker projects that 285,394 &#39;on demand&#39; books were produced last year, a 132% increase over last year&#39;s final total of 123,276 titles. It is the second consecutive year of triple-digit growth in this sector, driven by the huge rise in self-publishing.</p><p>&quot;Our statistics for 2008 benchmark an historic development in the US book publishing industry as we crossed a point last year in which on demand and short-run books exceeded the number of traditional books entering the marketplace,&quot; said Kelly Gallagher, vice president of publisher services for Bowker. &quot;It remains to be seen how this trend will unfold in the coming years before we know if we just experienced a watershed year in the book publishing industry, fueled by the changing dynamics of the marketplace and the proliferation of sophisticated publishing technologies, or an anomaly that caused the major industry trade publishers to retrench.&quot;</p><p>Within the traditional publishing segment, fiction was the largest component, though it dropped by 11% to 47,541. Sectors on the rise included education, up by 33% to 9,510, and business, up 14% to 8,838.</p><p>&quot;The statistics from last year are not just an indicator that the industry had a decline in new titles coming to the market, but they&#39;re also a reflection of how publishers are getting smarter and more strategic about the specific kinds of books they&#39;re choosing to publish,&quot; added Gallagher.</p><p>Total output in the US rose 38%, to 560,626 titles. The number of new books published in the UK in 2008 was 120,947, according to Nielsen BookData. </p><p>B<strong>reakdown of new title output 2008</strong></p><p>1. Fiction (47,541 new titles)<br />2. Juveniles (29,438)<br />3. Sociology/Economics (24,423)<br />4. Religion (16,847)<br />5. Science (13,555)</p>