Print is Not Dead

Each year Bowker releases an annual report on print book publishing in the United States. Bowker compiles this data from is publication, Books In Print ®, which lists all print books assigned an ISBN number.

Bowker recently released a preliminary finding for their 2010 year-end report. In this finding, Bowker projects that, despite the growth in ebooks, traditional U.S. print title output in 2010 increased 5% over 2009. This 5% increase comes after a 4% increase the previous year for 2009 over 2008.

Interestingly, of the top five book production categories, only two increased the number of books published in 2010 over 2009 and these were both in the science/technology categories.

The top book production categories were:

Rank Category 2010 2009
1. Fiction 47,392 48,738
2. Juveniles 32,638 33,028
3. Sociology/Economics 28,991 26,904
4. Science 21,414 15,608
5. Religion 19,793 20,527

This report from Bowker should bring you encouragement. Here are two comforting points I gleaned from Bowker’s findings:

  1. Print books are not dead; in fact, they are still alive and well.  Print books are still being published and production of print book titles is still growing.
  2. Religious books are still in the top five category for book production, indicating there is still a strong market for these books. People are interested in spiritual things.

You can view the full Bowker report here.