Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Publishing Factoids

            Ace Books, founded in 1953, is the oldest continuously operating science fiction publisher
            in  the U.S.

·    Vantage Press, founded in 1949, is the nation’s oldest self-publishing corporation.

·    Random House is the world’s largest trade-book publisher.

·    According to, the world’s oldest known printed book, The Diamond Sutra,is a seven-page scroll printed with wood blocks on paper.  It was produced in China in 868.

·    In 1455, Johann Gutenberg, printed his first book, a Latin Bible.  In 1440 he invented movable type by developing foundry-cast metal characters and a wooden printing press. 

·    America’s first newspaper was published in 1690, in Boston.  Its first magazine was published in 1741.  In 1639, the first books were published in the American colonies. 

·    1980—70% of books sold in the US were paperbacks.  Today they account for less than half of all sales.

·    1994—The first time chain bookstores outsold independent stores. Now Amazon outsells any retailer—chain, independent, or online.

·    The most successfully published novelist in history, according to Wikipedia, is Agatha Christie, with four billion copies sold.  She published 69 novels and 19 plays, from 1920-1976.

·    Barbara Cartland only sold millions of copies of her books but she wrote and published more books than anyone.  Over 80 years she released 722 books—or a stunning book every 40 days—for eight decades!

·    Of note, Corin Tellado wrote over 4,000 novellas, selling 400 million copies of her books.

·    The best-selling book of all time is the Bible.

·    W.W. Norton & Company is the largest American book publishing company that has remained independent since its founding in 1923.  With over 1,000 employees it is the oldest and largest employee-owned publisher in the U.S.
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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