Thursday, June 02, 2005


Calcubation Strikes Again: In 2052 There Will Be More Books Published Than Readers

In an effort to write an interesting press release that would get some attention,, on-demand publisher and printer, extended some trendlines. From the release: "The Lulu study pinpoints 2052 as the year when “Authorgeddon” will arrive – and the number of new books published in America will first surpass the number of Americans who read even a single book each year." What does this mean? Sure, they supply the conclusion, too. "The human race as a whole now publishes a book every thirty seconds, according to one recent estimate. Some 100 books a day – over 30,000 a year – are published on Lulu alone, of which most are not even counted in Bowker’s figures... Fancy publishers may soon have to start signing up readers rather than authors,... and the star readers will be those able to read the most books in a year.”

Two takeaway thoughts here: 1) is looking for "respect" and they will get it as on-demand publishing grows to be a significant market, and 2) the fact that and other on-demand publishing are not tracked by traditional 'scorekeeping' of market size is a reminder that hard market data come AFTER the market has been established.

Like I used to remind clients, "You want hard data? Then give me an old, large, and declining market, and you can have all of the hard data you want."

Sure the release is another example of "calcubation," spending too much time alone playing with one's calculator, but it's done tongue-in-cheek, and it makes its point.

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