Thursday, January 12, 2012

What’s Next In Publishing?

The answer may be revealed at the upcoming O’Reilly’s Tools of Change for Publishing Conference.  The annual event will be held in NYC Feb 13-15 and gathers a wide range of companies, experts, visionaries and opportunists who discuss innovative business models, share strategies, cite trends, and exchange ideas.  Hot topics are expected to include digital content pricing, global e-commerce, discoverability, distribution, Amazon, EPUB 3, smart phones, and iPads. Well over 1,000 people are expected to attend. For more information, check out

Bestsellers In Print

According to Publishers Weekly, 686 different books made one of their best-seller lists in 2011.  There are separate lists for hardcover fiction, hardcover non-fiction, mass market paperback and trade paperback. Though e-books accounted for about 20% of all sales last year, they were not factored into these tabulations.

Given there were several million books published last year, with over 300,000 coming from traditional publishers, the odds of any book making any best-seller list are astronomical.  Many books lucky enough to hit a list didn’t stay for long.  A record number hit the list in hardcover fiction and in trade paperback.  In 2010, 648 books made the list, 606 made it in 2009 and only 563 made it in 2008  This shows that many books that find a way to the list fade soon after.

Almost a third of all best-sellers in 2011 were published by Random House, the nation’s largest book publisher.  Penguin USA, in second place, published 20 fewer best-sellers as R.H. Hachette Book Group was in third, having published half as many best sellers as R.H. .  PW didn’t note how many self-published books made the best-seller lists.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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