Different reports released by Bowker last week showed that the self-publishing craze is leading to an upsurge in the number of new titles available to the general public. According to Bowker’s annual measurement of the number of print titles produced, projected title output in 2011 was 347,178, up 6% from 2010. For the first time, in 2011 Bowker combined titles from self-publishers with titles from mainstream houses, and Bowker said that the gain in 2011 was entirely generated by the production from self-publishers.
Total book output from traditional and nontraditional companies fell 63% in 2011, to 1,532,623, but that was due to the steep decline in books from reprint/POD houses that specialize in public domain titles sold mainly on the Web.
Among the publishing categories, output growth was strongest in education, up 20%, while the number of fiction titles rose by 13%. The number of religion books increased by 12%, and the production of juvenile books as well as biographies and business books increased by 11% each. Losing ground last year were technology titles, where output fell by 11%, and science, with production down 13%. Production of history titles declined 7%, and general works output fell 1%.
Earlier in the week Bowker Market Research reported that, in a combination of print books and e-books, self-publishers released 211,269 titles in 2011, up from 133,036 in 2010, based on ISBNs. Fiction accounted for 45% of units produced, but only 25% of sales, while, in contrast, nonfiction units accounted for 22% of units and 38% of sales. The reason for the discrepancy is price: fiction self-published titles averaged $6.94, while nonfiction self-published books averaged $19.32. In the other trade areas, juvenile titles represented 11% of units (9% of sales), while religion accounted for 5% of units and 16% of sales.
In terms of formats, e-books accounted for 41% of unit sold, but because of their low price point ($3.18), only 11% of sales. Paperback was the most popular format, accounting for 47% of units and 75% of sales; its average price is $12.68, Bowker said.