The number of print books produced by traditional publishers fell about 1% in 2013, according to statistics released Tuesday morning buy R.R. Bowker. Based on data drawn from its Books In Print database, Bowker reported that 304,912 books were produced by traditional publishers in 2013 compared to 309,957 in 2012.
The number of nontraditional print books produced in the year fell much more significantly, plunging 45.7%, to 1,108,183. Bowker attributed the decline in nontraditional production to a steep drop in the number of public domain reprint titles which had gone over 2 million titles in 2012. Bowker’s Han Huang called the nontraditional reversal “a market correction,” that reflected an unusually high amount of investment in the segment in the 2010 to 2102 period. The nontraditional publishing segment also includes print titles produced by self-publishing companies such as Lulu and CreateSpace, but Bowker did not breakout output for those types of books.
In the traditional publishing area, fiction output rose by about 1%, to 50,498 titles and was the largest publishing genre in 2013. Title output in the second largest genre, juvenile, dipped about 1%, to 32,902 titles. Among some of the other major categories where a swing in output took place was in business where output in 2013 fell 20% to 11,116, and religion, where production dropped 6%, to 18,653. Categories that had increases included literature, with output up 22% to 8,591, and music where output rose 24% to 5,294 titles.
Bowker noted that between 2002 and 2013, title output was up 41% and that over the last six years, print production has fluctuated between 284,000 and 309,000 print books produced annually. The company also noted that final 2013 numbers could rise a bit as more data comes in.