Monday, September 23, 2002

Most Americans Think They Have a Book in Them
Monday September 23, 5:20 am ET

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Eighty-one percent of Americans feel they should write a book, according to a survey of 1,006 adult Americans commissioned by Jenkins Group, Inc., a Michigan publishing services firm, which sponsors the annual Independent Publisher Book Awards and issues the monthly online magazine Independent Publisher.
"Of course, most people will never get around to committing their thoughts to paper -- let alone get them published -- but it's astonishing how many people feel they have a story to tell," said Jenkins Group Chairman and CEO Jerrold Jenkins.

Jenkins estimates that 6 million Americans have actually written a manuscript -- just over 2% of the population -- while, based on ISBN numbers assigned, approximately 80,000 books get published each year. Jenkins added that the number of books annually making it into print is growing, thanks to a boom in independent and self-publishing.

Jenkins noted that while some respondents feel they could write more than one type of book, only about a quarter of Americans (27%) say they would write a work of fiction. "The bulk of prospective authors see themselves writing some form of non-fiction, be it a biography, self-help, do-it-yourself or cookbook."

Which of the Following Types of Books Do You Think You Have In You? (Some
respondents chose more than one option)
* Self-help/do-it-yourself -- 28%
* General non-fiction (history, biography, etc.) -- 27%
* Fiction -- 27%
* Some other type (cookbook, picture book, etc.) -- 20%

The proliferation of personal web sites and Blogs as well as the ease of writing and editing with word processing have caused more people to regard themselves as potential authors, believes Jenkins. "We're in an information-oriented society and technology today allows people to share their ideas easily and quickly with a wider audience than anyone could have imagined a decade ago.

"Still it's a big leap, going from personal musings on the Web or stories composed on a computer, to writing a book that merits publication," cautioned Jenkins. "Even among the growing number of self-publishers today, we see a level of quality and professionalism that sets them apart from the average American. Talent, originality, effort and determination tend to separate those who contemplate writing a book from those who actually do it."

The EXCEL Telephone Omnibus Survey of 1,006 adult Americans has a margin of error of +/-3.1%. It was conducted for Jenkins Group, Inc. by International Communications Research, Media, PA.

Jenkins Group, Inc. was founded in 1988 as a provider of services to independent, university and small press book publishers. Based in Traverse City, Mich., the company serves individual and corporate clients internationally with a full range of custom book publishing and packaging services, consulting services and marketing services to the specialty, non-traditional book market. For more information go to .

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