Number of books sold vs. published

The Salt Lake Tribune reports (to me via StudioB mailing list):
“According to a report issued by the Book Industry Study Group,
the number of books sold dropped by nearly 44
million from 2003 to 2004, while the number of
books published per year approaches 175,000.
‘Higher prices enabled net revenues to increase
2.8 percent, to $28.6 billion, but also drove many
readers, especially students, to buy used
books…’ After 2005, markets are expected to be
flat with the exception of religious books.”


On reading this message, O’Reilly Associate Publisher for Consumer Books Mark Brokering waggishly remarked “Good thing we’re covering the religions of Mac and Linux.” On a more serious note, both overpublishing and too-high prices (especially for textbooks) are very much on our radar. High textbook prices (and the opportunity to disrupt that overpriced market) was one of the driving factors behind our introduction of SafariU.