Books published each year, U.S.: 560,626

Berrett-Koehler Publishers

Average number of copies sold per published book: 3,000

“Here’s the reality of the book industry: in 2004, 950,000 titles out of the 1.2 million tracked by Nielsen Bookscan sold fewer than 99 copies.  Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies.  Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies.  The average book in America sells about 500 copies” (Publishers Weekly, July 17, 2006).  And average sales have since fallen much more.  According to BookScan, which tracks most bookstore, online, and other retail sales of books, only 299 million books were sold in 2008 in the U.S. in all adult nonfiction categories combined.  The average U.S. book is now selling less than 250 copies per year and less than 3,000 copies over its lifetime.
Berrett-Koehler Publishers

Amount authors make per copy sold: 80 cents

Mary DeMuth

Fiction and Nonfiction

Around 25% of CBA publishers’ book output is fiction, compared with 55% or so from general market (ABA) publishers.

The Writer’s Edge

1995: Begins service
2001: Turns first quarterly profit ($5 million)
2002: $3.9 billion in revenues
2006: $10.7 billion in revenues
2009: $24.51 billion in revenues
Wikipedia, Tate Publishing

14 famous books repeatedly rejected by publishers:

  1. Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
  2. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
  3. Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
  4. Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl
  5. The Peter Principle by Laurence Peter
  6. Dubliners by James Joyce
  7. Lorna Doone by Richard Doddridge Blackmore
  8. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
  9. M*A*S*H by Richard Hooker
  10. Carrie by Stephen King
  11. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  12. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  13. Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison by Charles Shaw
  14. Dune by Frank Herbert

Publications International

Sales of Kindle Books are outselling hardcovers.

Number of Christian bookstores

“CBA (formerly the Christian Booksellers Association), a Colorado Springs–based trade association for retailers, says that as recently as the mid-’80s it had 3,000 members of an estimated 4,000 Christian retail stores. Today CBA has 1,813 members of an estimated 2,800 stores.”
“How to Save the Christian Bookstore” by Cindy Crosby

Reading trends of those aged 18-24 (reading a single play, book, poem outside of school, per year)

1982 59.8%
1992 53.3%
2002 42.8%
Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, 2004 (The Dumbest Generation, p. 46)

Number of books read by college students for personal enjoyment or academic enrichment, 2005

Freshmen    Seniors
None    24%        19%
1-4    56%        54%
5-10    13%        16%
National Survey of Student Engagement (The Dumbest Generation, p. 55)

Library of Congress

The Library was founded in 1800, making it the oldest federal cultural institution in the nation. On August 24, 1814, British troops burned the Capitol building (where the Library was housed) and destroyed the Library’s core collection of 3,000 volumes. On January 30, 1815, Congress approved the purchase of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library of 6,487 books for $23,950.

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with nearly 142 million items on approximately 650 miles of bookshelves. The collections include more than 32 million books and other print materials, 3 million recordings, 12.5 million photographs, 5.3 million maps, 5.6 million pieces of sheet music and 62 million manuscripts.

The Collections
The Library receives some 22,000 items each working day and adds approximately 10,000 items to the collections daily.

Library of Congress

Ten One-Hit-Wonder Authors

1. Harper Lee – To Kill a Mockingbird

2. Margaret Mitchell – Gone With the Wind

3. Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights

4. J.D. Salinger – Catcher in the Rye

5. Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray

6. John Kennedy Toole – A Confederacy of Dunces

7. Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar

8. Anna Sewell – Black Beauty

9. Boris Pasternak – Dr Zhivago

10. Arundhati Roy – The God of Small Things

Luke Leitch, TimesOnline

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