The February issue of Locus Magazine contains a book summary of 2004. In, it they tally up some interesting statistics about sf/f book publishing; things like number of books published (by year, by publisher), original books vs. reprints, hardcover vs. trade paperback vs. mass market paperback, etc. To get an idea of the numbers, in 2004 there were 2,550 books published. Of those, 1,417 were new and 1,133 were reprints.
The conclusion of the article states that “Publishers are putting out too many books.” They say that publishers seem more interested in quantity than quality and that smaller publishing houses suffer. The big guys, they say, seem to spawn a new imprint to meet a new trend.
What do you think? Are there too many books being published? Surely no one person is reading 2,550 (or even 1,417) books a year! (Insert Klausner Exclusion here.) Should there be fewer reprints to lessen the total? Or does the larger number mean more variety which is, ultimately, a good thing?