Originally created 05/25/05

Study: record number of books out last year



NEW YORK - Despite widespread agreement that too many books are in the marketplace, publishers apparently can't help themselves.

A study announced Tuesday estimates that a record 195,000 new works came out in 2004, a 14 percent jump over the previous year and 72 percent higher than in 1995.

"No one wants to cut back, that's pretty obvious," says Andrew Grabois, senior director of publisher relations and content development for R.R. Bowker, a New Providence, N.J.-based company that compiles statistics on books published in the United States.

The Bowker report follows a survey released last week from the Book Industry Study Group, which estimates that the actual number of books sold in 2004 dropped by 40 million from the previous year. The industry study group predicted better sales for 2005, but an essentially flat market after.

Fiction writers had a hard time getting attention during last year's presidential election, but that didn't keep publishers from trying. According to Bowker, the number of new adult titles topped 25,000, an increase of 43 percent over the previous year. Children's books, meanwhile, were up 6.6 percent, to just over 21,000.

Among nonfiction titles, religion and travel books increased, while education, history and science releases declined.