Sunday, April 18, 2010

Oh, the (One Million) Books They Published!

Bowker, the company that keeps statistics on such things, compiled information from its Books-in-Print database and recently announced that conventional publishing produced 288,355 titles in 2009 - and print-on-demand services produced 764,448 titles. That's more than a million titles published last year. Was your book among them?

Conventional (non-POD or subsidy) publishers published 45,000 novels, 32,300 children's books, 19,300 religion titles, 15,400 science titles, and 26,000 economics titles.

Three companies--BiblioBazaar, Books LLC, and Kessinger Publishing--published nearly 700,000 titles (mostly reprints of copyright-free books).

The top POD publishers were CreateSpace (21,819 titles), (10,386 titles), Xlibris (10,161), AuthorHouse (9,445 titles), and PublishAmerica (5,689 titles). Since many of these companies are not exclusive publishers, it's possible at least some of these titles were duplicates.

The question you're left to face, then, is this: Why didn't you publish a book last year?

The answer: You're too smart (i.e., informed, educated, frightened, experienced) to publish with a user/loser such as PublishAmerica. And you simply weren't in the right place at the right time to pitch your work to a conventional publisher.

Right place? Right time? Let's take a look at what literary agent Faye Swetky has to say about that.

"Getting a book published by a conventional publisher involves several things. One is subject matter. It has to be marketable. Two is timing. The market must be anticipated for the time in which your book comes out. Three is compatibility. You have to hit the right editor at the right time in order to get that editor to commit. Three months earlier, three months later, it could be a totally different story. But right on the button? SALE!"

Is it fair? Are you kidding! Is it just? Right. So why are you still in the business of writing?

You know the answer to that better than I do.

After all, I'm just a writer.

Copyright 2009 AmSAW

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