Print on-Demand Book Growth

By | May 26, 2009

Last week Bowker released its annual statistics on book publishing in the U.S. for 2008. Using its Books In Print database the company projects a decrease in U.S title output by 3.2% or 275,232 new titles and editions. It reported a small increase last year.

In 2008 Bowker also reported “On Demand” Publishing More than doubled: “Bowker projects that 285,394 On Demand books were produced last year, a staggering 132% increase over last year’s final total of 123,276 titles. This is the second consecutive year of triple-digit growth in the On Demand segment, which in 2008 was 462% above levels seen as recently as 2006.”

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3 thoughts on “Print on-Demand Book Growth

  1. Phillip Crum

    While I can’t validate the numbers I can testify that the call for self-published titles does seem to be increasing. Glad for it!

  2. John Blossom

    This is great news for the book industry, print-on-demand will free publishers from the risks of carrying large print inventories and allow them to optimize profits around electronic content that can be repurposed into different kinds of print packages – including packages with sponsored content.

    All the best,
    John Blossom

  3. George Alexander

    Like others, I found this Bowker press release confusing. Did the “3.2% decline” in new titles include or exclude the short-run and on-demand books?

    I discussed this question with Bowker and found that the short-run and on-demand books were excluded: if included, the number of new titles more than doubled. Bowker defined “short-run” as print runs of under 100 copies and “on-demand” as individual books printed as required.

    As publishers move more of their new titles into the short-run environment, of course it makes sense that the number of “traditionally printed” titles will decline. Thus, the “3.2% decline” is probably a change in production method, not a decline at all.

    There is more detail here:

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