A staggering 764,448 titles were produced in 2009 byself-publishers and micro-niche publishers, according to statistics releasedthis morning by R.R. Bowker. The number of "nontraditional" titles dwarfed thatof traditional books whose output slipped to 288,355 last year from 289,729 in2008. Taken together, total book output rose 87% last year, to over 1 millionbooks.

Among the traditional titles, fiction remained the largestsegment, although output fell 15%, to 45,181 titles, marking the secondconsecutive year that fiction production declined. The nonfiction segments weremixed with growth coming in educational and practical areas such as technology(up 11%), science, and personal finance (both up 9%). Categories that dependmore on discretional spending fell with the production of cookery and languagetitles falling the most at 16% each. The travel and sports and recreationsegments had declines of 5% and 4%, respectively. Other major categories whereoutput rose included children's, up 6%, to 32,348, biography, up 8% to 12,313,and religion, up 6% to 19,310.

Changes in growth rates in the traditional book segments,however, were overshadowed by the explosive gains posted by what Bowker callsthe unclassified titles. The category consists largely of reprints, includingthose of public domain titles, plus other titles that are produced usingprint-on-demand production. According to Bowker, the largest producer ofnontraditional books last year was BiblioBazaar which produced 272,930 titles,followed by Books LLC and Kessinger Publishing LLC which produced 224,460 and190,175 titles, respectively. The Amazon subsidiary CreateSpace produced 21,819books in 2009, while Lulu.com released 10,386. Xlibris and AuthorHouse, twoimprints of AuthorSolutions, produced 10,161 and 9,445, title respectively. Insomething of an understatement, Kelly Gallagher, v-p of publishing services forBowker, said that given the exceptional gains in the nontraditional segment thelast three years, growth in that area "show[s] no signs of abating."