There were lots of interesting statistics in Publishers Weekly today relating to retailing and Print-On-Demand.
According to a Bowker study, the Mystery Genre is what Americans read most, accounting for 17% of all books sold. Science Fiction accounts for 5.5%, General Fiction snags 3%, and Horror scares up 2%. The same study also found that chain bookstores account for 33% of booksales while the Internet sells 21%.
A study by the Association of American Publishers found that total industry sales rose 3.2% in 2007 to $25 billion. The largest gain is among adult hardcovers, which are up 7.8%. The "largest overall gains in the year came from the smallest segments." They note that ebook sales jumped 23.6% and audio books rose 19.8%.
PW editor Sara Nelson notes in her column that Amazon accounts for slightly more than 10% of online sales. She doesn’t seem particularly worried about the company strongarming POD presses to use Booksurge, their POD service. She observes that big publishers use POD "only sparingly," that there remain many other venues of POD sales, and that lawyers she has contacted don’t see the grounds for an anti-trust suit.
And in a news brief, Lightning Source has partnered with On Demand Books, the company that makes the Espresso Book Machine that prints novels for readers on the spot. So far, there are a grand total of seven machines in operation…not exactly a major force in book retailing.