The preliminary US production figures for books have been released by RR Bowkers today compiled from its Books In Print® database. For the first time ever books produced by print on demand digital methods exceeded books produced by traditional production methods.
New books produced by traditional production methods fell by 3% in 2008 but the number of print on demand and short run titles rose by an astounding 132%. Combined, the total production output was up by 38% to 560,626 new and revised titles.
And if you think the 2008 percentage figure is astounding, the rise in print on demand titles was actually not as large an increase in output as that of 2007 when output was recorder as 462%. While traditional publishers do utilise POD methods, in particular academic publishing presses, the rise can be significantly attributed to the success of companies offering author solution services to self-publishing authors. But, no doubt, the economic downturn and publishers winding back on titles in the latter months of 2008 had also played its part in these figures.
New title book production for 2008 (Titles by genres)
1. Fiction – (47,541)
2. Juveniles – (29,438)
3. Sociology/Economics – (24,423)
4. Religion – (16,847)
5. Science – (13,555)
You can download the Bowker Report from their website at the link below.