Saturday, May 06, 2006


Daniel Green does some counting and comes to an obvious conclusion:

Niche Markets

From a Business Week article on small presses:

Eschewing the large press penchant for concentrating on the hits with huge print runs like The Da Vinci Code. . .or the latest James Patterson novel. . . small presses are championing new voices, focusing on niche markets or subjects and genres that have either been ignored by the big houses or simply deemed unprofitable – such as poetry and foreign authors. They are creating whole businesses by reissuing out-of-print classics and maintaining the tradition of printing literary fiction.

Moreover, while the big publishing companies have been merging, the number of small presses has been increasing, creating a commercial critical mass. According to a survey by the Book Industry Study in 2005, Under the Radar, there are some 63,000 small presses generating $14.2 billion in sales. By comparison, as a result of industry consolidation there are about six large publishers today. And according to the Association of American Publishers, based in New York City, overall book sales hit $23.7 billion last year, up a slim 1.3%.

$14.2 billion out a total volume of $23.7 billion. That's more than half. Isn't it thus time that a majority of book coverage – and book reviews – concentrates on small and independent presses rather than the big six?

Link provided via Bookninja.

Amen to that.

I guess I should stop calling the big trades The Gang of Eight. From now on, the Gang of Six it is. And thanks to Herb Levy, for directing my attention to Green’s blog.

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