Tuesday, May 24, 2005

U.S. Book Production Reaches New High of 195,000 Titles in 2004
Tuesday May 24, 7:45 am ET

Fiction Soars

NEW PROVIDENCE, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 24, 2005--Bowker, the leading provider of bibliographic information in North America, today released statistics on U.S. book publishing compiled from its Books In Print® database. Based on preliminary figures, Bowker is projecting that U.S. title output in 2004 increased by 14% to 195,000 new titles and editions, reaching another all-time high.

The catalyst for growth in 2004 was adult fiction, which reversed a three-year plateau and increased a staggering 43.1%, to 25,184 new titles and editions, the highest total ever recorded for that category. Adult fiction now accounts for 14% of all titles published in the U.S., the highest proportion since 1961. New poetry and drama titles increased 40.5%.

The number of new titles released by the largest trade houses increased 5.4%, to 24,159, their largest increase since 2001. University presses increased their title output 12.3% to 14,484, reversing a 4.3% decline in 2003. Since 1995, new titles have increased 72% for all U.S. publishers, 22% for the largest trade houses, and 12% for university presses.

New juvenile titles continued to rise in 2004, increasing 6.6% to 21,516, a new high for that category. Among adult non-fiction categories, religion, travel and home economics enjoyed the largest increases, while education, history, science and biography suffered the steepest declines. The large trade houses published significantly more business, juvenile, law, sociology, and travel titles, and significantly fewer religion, poetry, and literary fiction titles. New adult fiction titles published by the large houses increased a modest 3.5%, a fraction of the increase seen from U.S. publishers as a whole.

Meanwhile, university presses enjoyed increases in almost all categories, with only philosophy and psychology experiencing significant declines.

In 2004, the average suggested retail price for adult hardcovers released by the largest trade houses decreased 10 cents to $27.52; adult fiction hardcovers held steady at $25.08; and adult non-fiction hardcovers decreased 29 cents to $28.49. Adult trade paperbacks increased 11 cents to $15.76; adult fiction trade paperbacks increased 7 cents to $14.78; adult non-fiction trade paperbacks increased 15 cents to $16.16; and adult mass-market paperbacks increased 14 cents to $7.35. The average list price for juvenile hardcovers increased 26 cents to $16.09.

Additional information, including charts to download, can be found at: http://www.bookwire.com/bookwire/decadebookproduction.html, http://www.bookwire.com/bookwire/trade.html or http://www.bookwire.com/bookwire/university.html.

"2004 marked a return to pre-9/11 patterns of publishing," said Andrew Grabois, senior director of publisher relations and content development for New Providence, N.J.-based Bowker. "The historic increase in fiction, and the high double-digit growth of the religion, personal development, domestic arts, and travel categories, point to a seismic shift in the marketplace from the political to the personal. Publishers are betting that the reading public, exhausted by four years of terrorism, war, and polarizing presidential elections, will be more than ready for the kind of escapist and self-help fare that seemed trivial and inappropriate in the wake of a national tragedy."

Other interesting statistics from Bowker include the following:

11,458 new publishers registered with the U.S. ISBN Agency in 2004, an increase of 5.3% over 2003.
4,040 books were translated into English from another language, a decrease of 8.1% from 2003.
Novels published by the large trade houses averaged 359 pages in 2004, a growth of 24 pages since 1995, and 43 pages since 1990.
The book production figures in this preliminary release are based on year-to-date data from U.S. publishers. If changes in industry estimates occur, they will be reflected in a later published report. Books In Print data represents input from 81,000 publishers in the U.S. The data is sent to Bowker in electronic files, and via BowkerLink(TM), Bowker's password protected Web-based tool, which enables publishers to update and add their own data.

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