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View Full Version : Is this good news or bad news?



jpfife
05-20-2009, 01:31 AM
From thebookseller.com, link: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/85891-self-publishing-takes-the-lead-in-us.html

'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.'

I wonder how long before this statistic pops up in vanity press publicity as a way of getting more people to pay for publishing?

Barrett
05-20-2009, 01:58 AM
I read the article, but I'm still a little vague on one detail. Did POD actually print and deliver more books than those that were printed and bound for commercial sale, or...

did the number of books made available for POD exceed those intended for the retail shelves?

If it's the second, I'm not too terribly impressed. Just because hundreds of thousands of books are being made available through POD does not mean POD has been widely accepted by the consumer.

If anything, it means more people think they can write a book and make a career from POD, which may have an interesting impact on slush piles in the publishing houses.

bsolah
05-20-2009, 03:46 AM
I'd be sceptical. I'm not surprised that POD has heaps more titles released. Anyone can publish POD. But out of those, I reckon more copies of traditionally published books were sold than copies of the POD books. POD simply doesn't have the marketing and people don't trust them.

Brindle Chase
05-20-2009, 03:58 AM
I'd be really curious to see the data. According to Harlequin, they "print" 120 billion... yes, billion, books(not titles) annually... whether or not that includes eHarlquin.. who knows... but thats an awful lot of books.... given the average sales data for harlequin writers... it seems to me that Harlequin writers have more titles than the POD numbers in this article (not that I did the math... *lol*... too lazy) Anywho... I think the key word in the entire article is titles... they are talking about titles, not book sales... 285k+ new titles on POD, each selling an average of 100 copies(wild estimate) isn't much to celebrate about...???

I think POD is growing, but traditional book sales are still strong, particularly in romance and YA

Wayne K
05-20-2009, 04:39 AM
This news is neither good nor bad, it's vague.

Izz
05-20-2009, 06:07 AM
From thebookseller.com, link: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/85891-self-publishing-takes-the-lead-in-us.html

'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.'
Bolded 'titles'. Number of titles is quite different to number of books. I'm surprised this is the first-time ever. Anybody can self-pub.

cletus
05-20-2009, 08:04 AM
285k+ new titles on POD, each selling an average of 100 copies(wild estimate) isn't much to celebrate about...???


I'd subtract at least 90 copies from your wild estimate to get a more realistic estimate. I doubt very few POD's sell more than a dozen copies.

bsolah
05-20-2009, 08:06 AM
Anywho... I think the key word in the entire article is titles... they are talking about titles, not book sales... 285k+ new titles on POD, each selling an average of 100 copies(wild estimate) isn't much to celebrate about...???

I highly doubt this stat too. Which POD books are they counting because I'd think there would be plenty of POD books published on lulu.com for instance that don't even sell more than one or two copies.

jpfife
05-20-2009, 01:37 PM
A little more information here (http://in.sys-con.com/node/969162/print). With data from 75,000 publishers (!) their stats do start to look a little odd.

Old Hack
05-20-2009, 02:48 PM
The stats given in the article refer to numbers of titles using POD, not actual copies printed: given the numbers of books which have been self-published over the last few years perhaps it's not surprising. But I did think that the title of the piece was a little (!) misleading.

It's already been claimed elsewhere (and no, I'm purposely not going to provide a link) that this article proves that mainstream publishing is in decline, and that self-publishing is now more successful--which isn't the case at all.

The average number of sales for a self-published book ranges from 40 to 200 copies (http://howpublishingreallyworks.blogspot.com/2009/03/sales-statistics.html), depending on which set of statistics you look at.

Devil Ledbetter
05-20-2009, 04:06 PM
Bolded 'titles'. Number of titles is quite different to number of books. I'm surprised this is the first-time ever. Anybody can self-pub.Does "titles" also include those that don't get an ISBN, such as when we use a publisher like Lulu.com to print a few copies for our beta readers? I've done this, but I have no intention of ever self-publishng my novel.

Brindle Chase
05-20-2009, 11:49 PM
Does "titles" also include those that don't get an ISBN, such as when we use a publisher like Lulu.com to print a few copies for our beta readers? I've done this, but I have no intention of ever self-publishng my novel.


My guess would be yes. its likely Lulu.com reports there #'s by all titles published, regardless if they are registered with an ISBN. It makes them seem more impressive.

Izz
05-21-2009, 12:05 AM
Does "titles" also include those that don't get an ISBN, such as when we use a publisher like Lulu.com to print a few copies for our beta readers? I've done this, but I have no intention of ever self-publishng my novel.Good question. I'd hope not, but that's the optimist in me rather than the realist. :rolleyes:

veinglory
05-21-2009, 12:06 AM
I was surprised that this wasn't already the case (that is, more differenttitles publsihed POD than offset). I mean it is essentially free, and very easy, to make a POD available through a site like Lulu.