Tuesday, June 3, 2008

23 Full Grown Elephants? That’s a Lot of Books.

News Release

(Fountain Hills, AZ – June 2, 2008) The year 2007 saw 276,649 new books released by traditional publishers in the United States, according to Bowker, a leading provider of bibliographic information. The number of new titles increased about 1% from 2006. 276,649 titles is quite a few books.

Dee Power, the co-author with Brian Hill, of "The Making of a Bestseller," puts this number into perspective. If the books were shelved side by side, spine out, one would need almost 4.5 miles of shelving. If the books were stacked one atop the other, they would reach almost ten times higher than the world’s tallest building, the Taipei 101, which measures 1,671 feet. To transport one copy of each title, the vehicle would have to be capable of hauling 103 tons or 23 full grown elephants. Laying the books down in a straight line would require a little over 30 miles of railroad tracks.

If one person spent twelve hours every day reading each and every title it would take 263 years to finish them all.

If each author received a $5000 advance, the total would be over $1.3 billion. And most interestingly of all, if one author wrote all these books, consecutively, he or she, would have had to start writing during the time of Neanderthal Man, over 130,000 years ago.

How difficult is it to get a book published by a commercial publisher? Well the odds are better gambling in Las Vegas. Power and Hill surveyed over 60 literary agents. On the average these agents agreed to accept only a little more than 2 in 1000 of the authors who contacted them.

It has been estimated that 25 million people in the United States consider themselves writers and only 5% have been published anywhere. Ready for another dose of reality? Only 1% of manuscripts submitted to publishing houses are accepted for publication.

If 99% of all manuscripts submitted are rejected, by any standard, a writer whose book has been commercially published has achieved a major milestone. However you look at it, 276,649 is a lot of new titles and a lot of happy authors.


About the Authors:

Brian Hill and Dee Power were inspired by their own publishing experiences to research and write “The Making of a Bestseller: Success Stories From Authors and the Editors, Agents and
Booksellers Behind Them,” Dearborn Trade. Hill and Power have also co-authored two other nonfiction books. Reach them through their website http://www.BrianHillAndDeePower.com


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