In a surprising report yesterday, the bibliographic company Bowker reported that 764,448 titles were released in 2009 that were outside of the company’s “traditional publishing and classification definitions”–a 181 percent increase compared to the year before.
According to the release, these nontraditional publishing titles consisted mainly of “largely on-demand titles produced by reprint houses specializing in public domain works and by presses catering to self-publishers and ‘micro-niche’ publications.” At the same time, the report noted that new titles and editions from traditional publishers actually declined from last year’s 289,729 in 2008 to an estimated 288,355 titles in 2009.
Here’s more from the report, including a quote from Bowker VP of publishing services Kelly Gallagher: “Now more than twice the output of traditional titles, the [print-on-demand] market is dominated by a handful of publishers. In fact, the top 10 publishers overall accounted for an astounding 74 percent of total titles produced in 2009. ‘Today, these companies are opening up new publishing venues by producing titles for very niche markets and also bringing public domain titles back to life. The net effect creates a long-tail that has no end,’ said Mr. Gallagher.”