Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Are There Too Many Books on the Market?

If you’re like me, it seems that everytime you turn around someone has a new book out. Or maybe you’re not like me, because when this happens I love it! Seriously, I believe that everyone has at least one good book in them. Whether it’s a celebrity, a corporate tycoon, a survivor, a hero or one of the millions of  “regular” people among us, authoring and self-publishing a book is becoming one of the fastest, most effective ways to tell your story. But do you really need to write a book? After all, aren’t there already too many books on the market?

According to R.R. Bowker, a leader in the publishing industry, an estimated 15 million new book titles will be publshed by the end of 2012. That’s up from 3 million in 2011 and up from 1 million in 2010. That’s a phenomenal growth! So with all of that competition for the eyes and wallets of readers, why write another book to muddy up the marketplace?

Book Tunnel by Petr Kratochvil
My response is that if having “too many books” on the market in America is our biggest problem, we’re doing pretty well. After all, did you know that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms estimated that in 2010 there were 5.4 million new firearms manufactured in the U.S., and another 3.2 million were imported. In addition, it is estimated that an amazing 14 billion hamburgers are sold in the U.S. each year. And, consider that there are 254 million registered passenger vehicles in the U.S. according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (can you say, “traffic jam!”).
No, I haven’t turned into a spout of senseless statistical data. The point I’m making is that books are among our least dangerous domestic product. So if it’s true that there are too many books – which I completely disagree with – then at least our surplus product has a benefit to its end user: to educate, inspire and inform. Besides that, if there wasn’t a thriving market for books – as in millions of people who still love to read – authors, publishing companies and others would not be producing books. In short, books are fulfilling a basic tenet of economics: supply and demand. Hats off to all you authors (and readers)!

So the next time you hear someone mention that there are too many books and there is absolutely no reason that anyone should write another one, just let them know that you’ve got a book of your own, and advise them to simply make the check out to you (thank you very much)!


Anita Paul, known as The Author's Midwife, coaches aspiring authors to write a phenomenal book and helps current authors use their existing books to leverage their business. She is the author of Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life and the Book You've Been Wanting to Write, and is the creator of the Write Your Life program, through which she has created a dynamic system to Write Your Book in 90 Days or Less. She has owned The Write Image for 15 years, and has had her freelance articles featured in over 25 publications in the U.S. and Canada. Anita is also the host of "Book Your Success".

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