In 2009 the number of books published by the big six traditional commercial publishers in America was 302,000, a number that had been holding steady for many years.
In 2010 there was a modest 5% growth to 316,000 titles.
Print On Demand titles, which didn’t even really exist 10 years ago, shot up from 1,033,000 titles in 2009 to 2,776,000 in 2010. It seems like almost everyone is a published author now, almost tripling the number of self-publishing.
Since 2008, e-Book sales have went up by 1039.6% (more than 300% in a given year), while revenue in the same period was also increased by 1274.1%!
E-books vs. Print books
The question about e-books is not if they will pass print, but when. The short answer is … not yet, but we’ll have a much better idea in January. Buzz around the young format has been building since the first mass-market e-Reader, the original Kindle, sold out in less than six hours in 2007. Amazon, which has estimated it holds over 70% of the ebook market, has stayed in the spotlight with new devices like the Fire tablet.
Amazon said in May that its digital books were outselling its print books, some pointed out that the company’s numbers refer only to unit sales, which could easily be swayed by the thousands of cheap titles available, many for less than a dollar. In July, Amazon said its Kindle store had 950,000 books on offer – 800,000 of which were $9.99 or less.
The Association of American Publishers, whose membership includes the country’s major publishing houses (only! not counting smaller presses or POD), released a report on the first five months of 2011, showing that ebook sales had risen to about a fifth of the overall pie during that span, soaring 160% in five months, while total hardcover and paperback sales were both down nearly 20%.
The trend will accelerate as more readers buy dedicated e-Readers as well as tablets and phones that can display the books, which is why this holiday shopping season is important. Analysts have long held up $100 as the line for general acceptance for such devices, and while Amazon’s $199 Fire tablet has drawn much of the attention because of its matchup with the iPad, the company’s two new kindles are $79 and $99 when purchased with advertising.