Friday, May 22, 2009
Bowker report says on-demand publishing more than doubled in 2008
This week, Bowker, a leading source for bibliographic information, released statistics on the U.S. book publishing industry for 2008. The report shows that in 2008, the number of books printed using print-on-demand and short-run more than doubled over 2007 with an increase of 132 percent. Last year marked the second year of triple-digit growth for the print-on-demand segment, which increased 462 percent since 2006. In addition, the number of on-demand and short-run books surpassed the number of traditional books in the market. Kelly Gallagher, vice president of publisher services for Bowker commented, “Our statistics for 2008 benchmark a historic development in the U.S. book publishing industry as we crossed a point last year in which On Demand and short-run books exceeded the number of traditional books entering the marketplace. It remains to be seen how this trend will unfold in the coming years before we know if we just experienced a watershed year in the book publishing industry, fueled by the changing dynamics of the marketplace and the proliferation of sophisticated publishing technologies, or an anomaly that caused the major industry trade publishers to retrench.” In the past few months there has also been an increase in the number of college stores, scholarly presses, and libraries offering print-on-demand options. We can expect that more experimentation will continue this year, as the industry seeks to find a more profitable business model.