Publishing isn’t dying – it’s just going insane

The New York Times Books section recently cited a Bookstat  survey showing that publishing in general is actually expanding, despite the recession, and the supposed growing illiteracy (or indifference) of the population in general. According to NYT:

BookStats, a comprehensive survey conducted by two major trade groups that was released early Tuesday, revealed that in 2010 publishers generated net revenue of $27.9 billion, a 5.6 percent increase over 2008. Publishers sold 2.57 billion books in all formats in 2010, a 4.1 percent increase since 2008.

They add:

“We’re seeing a resurgence, and we’re seeing it across all markets — trade, academic, professional,” said Tina Jordan, the vice president of the Association of American Publishers. “In each category we’re seeing growth. The printed word is alive and well whether it takes a paper delivery or digital delivery.”

Much has been maall over the internet about the contributions of electronic publishing to this growth. Techland, for one, citing the same survey data, notes a growth of 1247% – yes, that’s right – in e-book sales. They explained:

Revenue on e-books reached $878 million in 2010, with sales hitting 114 million copies in that year, an increase of 1,039% over 2008 sales. Part of that growth comes from customers going from store shopping to online shopping: Online spending rose 55.2% between 2008 and 2010, according to the survey, with sales growing 68.6% in the period of the survey.

This growth is particularly evident in genre and YA fiction, where there are basically no rules anymore. Once upon a time, way back 15 years ago, you wrote your novel, shopped it to agents, who then (if you were luck) shopped it to publishers who then (if you were really lucky) bought it, and it ended up on the shelf of all the major bookstores.
You can still go that way. But recently, man more trails have been blazed up the mountain. They aren’t any easier, but they are different.
Cyndy Aleo, writing for GigaOm, recounts her visit to ComiCon, and what three very different authors, both in content and route t publishing, told her about the future of publishing.
The one theme that came up on virtually every panel was how much things are changing in the industry, but each author seemed to have a unique take on the effect of those changes.
The authors in question are self-published  Morgan Rice, and traditionally published authors Cindy Pon and Tahereh Mafi
The links goes to part I of a 2 part article.




One Response

  1. […] And at Writing Made Visible, there are some reposts about the accelerating sales of  e-books. […]

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