Saturday, May 30, 2009

How Fast Can You Read?

Publishers, booksellers and readers may all be a bit short on funds at the moment, but writers evidently aren't short on inspiration. Earlier this month Bowker, the company that issues ISBN's in this country and publishes Books in Print, reported that, by its count, 560,626 new titles were published in the United States during 2008. That averages out to more than 1500 new books published every day.

More than the overall total, the most striking item in their report was that, for the first time ever, the number of books published using on-demand and short run technologies exceeded the number of titles published by the more "traditional" methods used before digital printing and the internet came along. In fact, the number of traditionally printed titles actually decreased, while number of titles produced with the newer technology increased by 132%. These new technologies are primarily used by self-published writers, though major publishers occasionally use them too for books with only marginal sales figures.

Meanwhile, at Accent on Books, we have the physical capacity to keep maybe 20,000 different titles on hand. Thus, by necessity, we do quite a bit of special ordering. So, if we don't have the specific title you're looking for, don't feel alone. There are millions of other books out there we don't carry, either. But we'll do everything we can to get it for you.

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