The August issue of Book Business Magazine came this week. It included quite a few interesting tidbits that are of interest.
One article looked at the latest annual (2009) Book Industry Trends report, which includes comprehensive sales data on the last five years and a forecast for the next five years. While the report acknowledges the overall decline in units sold during 2008, that decline is exepcted to turn into a modest growth this year, and growth of 2.2% next year.
More surprising was the growth in the number of publishers cited in the article. In 2008, R.R. Bowker reported that there were 130,477 active publishers in the U.S, based on the organizations that have obtained ISBNs for their books. This represents a very surprising 27% increase over 2007.
Another article mentioned that Simon and Schuster has made available for purchase 5,000 ebook titles on the document sharing site Scribd.com, and has made previews of thousands of additional titles available there also. With support like that, it seems likely that Scribd will be of interest to many more publishers as a place to distribute their books in ebook form.
The issue also includes a comparison of 20 leading digital book printers (includes 13 print-on-demand printers and 7 short-run printers) and a fascinating discussion of how the editorial function might change in the future as publishing becomes more digital and more Internet-based.