Friday, May 27, 2005

Books in print--for better or worse

Ah, yes. The ever increasing number of books in print. Let's discuss.

Each year, the number of titles in print becomes larger and larger. According to
the latest statistics from Bowker, we are now up to 195,000 (new) titles in the United States.

As it turns out, only 50 titles came from the big publishers and university presses; the remaining 194,950 are all POD.

At least that's the way it seems.

As for in-print titles, in 2002, the number was 1.5 million. In 2004, we jumped up to 2.8 million. Holy smokes.

But for real: the reason the number of titles is growing is not (completely) because of new PODs, it's because all publishers are letting less and less go out of print (and, most likely, because of POD technology--so round and round we go.)

This number, which seems to annoy more people in proportion to its increase in size, should be growing. It should go up every year--until we stop letting titles go out of print. Maybe bigger is better after all.


On a different front, yet another book has successfully made it from POD to traditional publisher (albeit a small one.) John D. Moore's CONFUSING LOVE WITH OBSESSION (iUniverse) has been sold, according to Publisher's Marketplace, "to Hazelden, in a nice deal, by Penny Nelson at Manus & Associates." (A "nice deal" means it sold for $50, 000 or less.) Congrats to Mr. Moore.


And lastly, Britta Steiner Alexander (who is an agent with the Ned Leavitt Agency, and Ned Leavitt was an agent with William Morris for 13 years, so . . . ) tosses in her two cents on getting an agent and other matters on her blog. But one post worthy of note: How to get a publisher to buy your successful self-published book. While this is not a hyper-informative entry, it makes the point that the first thing an agent is going to want to know is how many books you sold. As indicated so far in my Agent & Editor Q&A series, the number varies from person to person, but the more books the better--so, if you think 200 books is going to grab an agent, think again (unless you sold those books in the first day, all on Amazon.)