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Q: Publishing Industry Statistics ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Publishing Industry Statistics
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: webmaven-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 09 May 2002 18:14 PDT
Expires: 27 May 2002 15:01 PDT
Question ID: 14107
This is a four part question. 
1) How many book publishers are there in the US? 
2) How many new titles are published each year? 
3) How does the number of books sold break down by publisher? (eg. the 
top 3 publishers sell 90% of all books sold, etc.) 
4) How does the number of new titles published break down by 
publisher? (eg. the top 5 publishers publish 10% of all new titles 
each year, etc.) 
Additional breakdowns by publisher would be helpful, but not strictly 

Clarification of Question by webmaven-ga on 10 May 2002 10:16 PDT
To answer wengland-ga, I don't think there is a lower limit to being
considered a publisher. If your books have ISBN numbers, then you're a
publisher, as far as I'm concerned.
I'm willing however, to abide by whatever the 'industry standard'
definition is.
By the way, is '50 books a year' your volume, or the number of titles? 
Subject: Re: Publishing Industry Statistics
Answered By: easterangel-ga on 25 May 2002 23:30 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi. Thanks for these very interesting questions.

1.) The book publishing industry lists the following figures of
Corporations – 6285 

Total – 11,890 (including non-incorporated book publishing businesses)
Data for the publishing industry from Biz Stats

The Literary Market Place website lists 2971 Book publishers in the US

Comprehensive list of book publishers in the US 

2.) In the United States these figures show the number of new titles
produced from 1990 to 1997.

Year      Number of new titles
1990	- 46743
1991	– 48146
1992	– 49276
1993	– 42217
1994	– 51863
1995	– 62039
1996	– 58465
1997	– 64711

Comprehensive list of book publishers in the US 

The book publishing industry annual sales”

1998	– $23.01 billion
1999	– $24 billion
2000	– $25.32 billion 

2001	- - $25,356,500,000 
US Book Publishing Market 

US Book Publishing Industry Net Sales

3. The top 10 book publishers in the US are as follows of 2001:
From the sales figures noted (all in millions) we could infer their
individual market share. Remember that the total book sales for the US
are $25,356,500,000.
1. Mc-Graw Hill $4,645.5 (in millions) (18.32% market share)
2. Random House (Owned by Bertelsmann) $1,760.8 (6.9% market share)
3. Harcourt General  (owned by Reed Elsevier Group) $2,408.2 (9.5%
market share)
4. Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck   $2,214.4 (8.7% market share)
5. Scholastic   $1,962.3 (7.7% market share)
6. Pearson   $6,290 (24.8% market share)
7. Houghton Mifflin  (owned by Vivendi Universal Publishing) $1,027.6
8. HarperCollins  (owned by News Corp.) $975.5 (2000 figures) (3.8%
market share)
9. John Wiley   $613.8 (2.4% market share)
10.Simon & Schuster  (owned by Viacom) $648.7 (2.6% market share)

From these figures it can be surmised that the top 10 book publishers
have 88.72% of the market.,2204,34,00.html 

A list of the top publishers in this industry:,2205,6262,00.html 

Market Share in the textbook industry: 

4. The new titles breakdown data for each publisher is available
through industry reports and I have not found a data that you would
require online.

You can purchase detailed reports from Hoover’s Online,3691,78493,00.html,3691,78495,00.html 

The following are related web pages that might be of interest to you:

Publishing Industry Profile 

American Book Production, 1999-2001 (All Hard and Paper)

The Top Subject Descriptions for Books 

Bookstore Sales and Market Share 

For more book publishing statistics: 

List of publishing Companies from Hoover Online:,3516,34,00.html

The steps made by publishers whenever launching a new book. 

The Book Publishing Market Structure 

Search terms used:
Largest book publishing publisher industry companies

I hope this would help you in your research. Thanks for being a part
of Google Answers.


Request for Answer Clarification by webmaven-ga on 27 May 2002 18:29 PDT
The data you came up with is interesting, but I would like some

1) The total figure you quoted (11,890) seems to be for printing and
publishing companies that deal in books, not just book publishers
(which would make the figure too large). On the other hand, it is
considerably smaller thatn the figure mentioned in the BISG report
( I mentioned below in a
comment, which states in it's description that there are 53,000 small
and independent publishers in the US. So, How can I arrive at a
reliable figure for this?

2) These figures are very interesting (and useful to me) but the chart
( makes clear
that the numbers refer (except in a few cases) to total number of
titles, not just new titles. I'd still like some statistics on the the
number of new titles, even if it's just for one or two years.

3) I'm more interested in numbers of books sold that in total dollar
figures. One of the links you provided
( gives
a total # of books for 1997 of 2.2 billion (page 4). I think I can
assume that market share in $ is at least roughly equivalent to market
share in # of books sold. The dollar figure for that year from this
report ($20.7 billion) also roughly agrees with the equivalent figure
from the AAP ($21.6 billion) so this will let me extrapolate somewhat.

4) It's unfortunate that you couldn't find any statistics on number of
new titles by publisher. This would be, in fact, the most interesting
figure to me, especially combined with overall number of new titles,
from (2), and the total number of book publishers, from (1). Those
three figures would together allow me to estimate how many new titles
a year small publishers (defined as 'not in the top ten') introduce on
average. How sure are you that this information is available from the
Hoover's reports? I'd rather not spend the money if the information I
want isn't in there.

Clarification of Answer by easterangel-ga on 29 May 2002 16:17 PDT
I am in the process of looking for other sites that meet your criteria
or give further stregth to my answer. It took me more than two weeks
to come up with the answer. I hope you could give me another week or

On number four, I have to agree with you that by just reading the
table of contents of the book that you could not be sure if the
"number of titles per publisher" data  is there. I wouldn't want you
to waste money on this, so I will try to find other sources that can
give us an assurance that it has the necessary figures.

Clarification of Answer by easterangel-ga on 06 Jun 2002 03:40 PDT
Hi again. I would like to clarify some of my answers.

1. According to this data from the US Census the following is the
number of Book Publishers:

	With Payroll = 2,552
	No Employees =   304
You can see that such numbers is too confusing since there are a
number of other firms, which call themselves as independent book
publishers. I think the data in my original answer is more accurate.

2. The figures on the table on this link
is billed as Annual Book Title Production which I infer as new titles

3. The following link gives support to my findings that the total
sales for 2000 among US book publishers was 25 billion. But it also
shows that there were 60,000 new titles published in 2000. There is no
data however on the breakdown on the number of new titles published
per book publishing company. 

4. The following are books or reports that contain information on new
titles. I am sorry about this one its still hard to tell whether it
has the information you want. 

Thanks again.
webmaven-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Although the researcher was not able to completely answer my question,
this seems due more to lack of appropriate statistics on the internet,
rather than any other cause. The related information the researcher
found was useful and of interest, so I am rating this answer as '4
stars'. My apologies for the tardiness of my rating.

Subject: Re: Publishing Industry Statistics
From: shae-ga on 09 May 2002 19:41 PDT
I was unable to find most of the information you requested, but I’m a
new Researcher and perhaps someone else can find you more detailed
information.  Here’s what I was able to find including two sites that
might have publications for sale that could help you.

The Association of American Publishers website
( includes their annual report for fiscal
year 2000/2001 (, requires
Adobe Acrobat to read).  According to this report, the Association had
at the time a total of 310 members, which include 170 regular member
companies, 43 non-profit associates, 40 University press associates,
and 48 affiliate members.  However, probably not every US publisher
belongs to the organization though most major publishing houses do.  A
monthly report on the website includes new members who have recently
joined the organization and current membership now stands at 315
members (“AAP Monthly Report” by Judith Platt (September 2001).

The AAP’s annual statistic numbers are not in titles sold but in
dollar volume of all sales per year.  According to the 2001 report at, total sales for last year
exceeded $25 billion.  This page also includes links to sales totals
for the years 1998 – 2000.

For a breakdown of sales and titles by publisher, you may have to
purchase an industry tracking report.  Simba Information
( has available for
purchase a weekly Book Publishing Report which includes industry
rankings and the largest book publishers by annual revenue.  A sample
of the newsletter is available at

The Book Industry Study Group also has available for sale quite a few
publications covering industry statistics at
Subject: Re: Publishing Industry Statistics
From: webmaven-ga on 09 May 2002 21:20 PDT
The AAP report is probably not very useful, because as you noted, it
only covers it's members. The Book Industry Study Group has a report
that indicates that there are at least 53,000 independent publishers
in the US which the AAP does not include in their report.

The main BISG report (
probably would be the most relevant, but I'm not prepared to cough up
$750 just to find out these basic industry statistics. For my
purposes, last year's (or even slightly older) reports would probably
do just as well, but none of these organizations seem to release
previous years' reports online, even in digest form.

So, I'm still hoping for an answer.
Subject: Re: Publishing Industry Statistics
From: wengland-ga on 10 May 2002 08:34 PDT
Define 'publisher'.  Is there any lower volume limit?  I am a book
publisher (low volume, spiral bound).  I print about 50 books a year.

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