Number of On-demand Titles Topped Traditional Books in 2008

May 20, 2009 by Thad McIlroy

How’s that for a headline! Pulled directly from Publishers Weekly, the word is that “The number of new and revised titles produced by traditional production methods fell 3% in 2008, to 275,232, but the number of on-demand and short run titles soared 132%, to 285,394….Taken together, total output rose 38%, to 560,626 titles….Since 2002, production of on-demand titles has soared 774% compared to a 126% increase in traditional titles. Gallagher said the improvement in on-demand printing technology was a major contributor to the growth.”

Keep in mind that last year on-demand added over 120,000 titles, so this number is less impressive than it sounds; the two-year jump would be astronomical.

I’ll have more on this shortly. But for now, read ’em and….think.

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  • Peter Jurmu

    May 20th, 2009 : 10:11 PM

    These are impressive numbers, but I’m interested in knowing how many of these on-demand and traditional titles produced were sold in 2008. The PW article goes on to mention Kelly Gallagher, who “said the decline in traditional books reflects not only the difficult economy but the decision by publishers to become smarter and more strategic in the titles they published last year.” Such rapid production without sales, or with sales that fold back due to returns, is pointless and merely creates a whole lot of content no one’s reading.

  • Thad McIlroy

    May 22nd, 2009 : 7:04 PM

    Good point, Peter. I found out additional data on the numbers today, and am going to post an additional entry.