Thursday, August 3, 2023

Book Publishing By The Numbers

The story of the book world today can be told with a few numbers:

·         Earlier this century, the book publishing industry was clearly dominated by the “big six”. These “big six” — Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin, HarperCollins, Random House, and Simon & Schuster — accounted for about 50% of all books sold in the US in 2012.


·         A decade ago, In 2013, Random House and Penguin merged, leaving the boom industry in the clutches of the “big five”.


·         The Big 5 publishers accounted for 80% of all books sold in 2021. They also account for producing 75-80% of all the best-sellers listed on Publishers Weekly’s lists. 


·         “130 million Americans—54% of adults between the ages of 16 and 74 years old—lack proficiency in literacy, essentially reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level.”

—The Barbara Bush Foundation


·         According to the US Census as of 2020 there were around 10,800 bookstores in all, ranging from small, independent retailers to major chains within the US. Since 2012 the number of bookstores in the US has been decreasing from 16,819 stores to 10,800 as of 2020


·         “Amazon generates around $28 billion worldwide from book sales every year. The company is responsible for over 50% of sales from the Big Five publishers and controls between 50% and 80% of the book distribution in the United States. Amazon sells at least 300 million print books every year.”



·         According to a study conducted by Google Books in 2010, there have been 129,864,880 books published since the invention of Gutenberg's printing press in 1440.


·         Penguin Random House alone publishes 85,000 titles each year, which is the largest number of titles published by a major publishing house.


·         The United States had 39,876,731 lifetime ISBN registrations as of 2020, by far the highest total of any country.


·         As of 2022, more than 12.25 million ebooks are estimated to be published on Kindle.

Before the pandemic, births had been steadily declining for many years. There were almost 600,000 fewer annual births in 2019 relative to 2007—a 13% reduction.


·         In 1800, there were one billion people. Today there are more than 8 billion of us.


·         “BookTok is massive. As of late December 2022, the hashtag had close to 97 billion views on the platform, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down.”


Need Book Marketing Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  



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