Here is a link to an interesting New York Times article about the number of books published every year.
I find this fact interesting: "most [self-published] writers using iUniverse sell fewer than 200 books."
I like this statement: "Everyone now can afford to preach in the desert."
Here are some interesting statistics relating to the writing life and book sales:
- According to Publishers Weekly, in a typical year fewer than 500 books sell more than 100,000 copies.
- According to Tim Ferris, 95 percent of the over 200,000 books published in the U.S. each year will sell fewer than 5,000 copies in their lifetime.
- There are now at least 200,000 new titles published in the U.S. and 10,000 in Canada every year. Of this total, only about 10% or 18,000 will see any bookstore exposure at all.
- Note: This is an update - In 2008, there were 565,000 books published in the U.S. About half of these were through micro-publishers (vanity, etc.). One expert predicted that over 200,000 of these titles will sell less than 100 copies in their lifetime.
- Bowker (The keeper of all ISBNs), in fact, says that in 2006 more than 291,920 books were published in the United States, plus more than 250,000 published in the UK.
- What's more, the production of traditional books rose 1% in 2007, to 276,649 new titles and editions, but the output of on-demand, short run and unclassified titles soared from 21,936 in 2006 to 134,773 last year, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by R.R. Bowker. The combination of the two categories results in a 39% increase in output to 411,422.
- According to Judy Cullins, an expert on book marketing, literary agents and publishers may choose only 1% of new submissions.
- Phil Wood, the owner of Ten Speed Press, told me that Ten Speed Press publishes only one out of 500 or 1,000 manuscripts that are submitted.
- One Publishers Weekly survey of five large publishers indicated that only one in ten fiction books earned back the advance given to authors.
- Even among mid-size publishers, as many as 60% of general trade titles lose money.
- It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of books are returned by bookstores each year, at considerable expense to publishers, who wind up having them remaindered or pulped.
- Each new book in the U.S. and Canada has about a one in twelve chance of selling translation rights to even one foreign publisher.
- Apparently 81 percent of Americans, think they should write a book, but only 2 percent have completed a manuscript. What's more, only about one in ten manuscripts ever gets published.
Success Quotes about the Writiing Life