Thursday, June 07, 2007

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

(Fountain Hills, AZ- June 5, 2007) The year 2006 saw 291,920 new titles released in the United States, according to Bowker, the world’s leading provider of bibliographic information. The number of new titles increased slightly from the 2005 level of 282,500, but didn't reach the level of 2004, an all time high of 295,523. If these numbers sound a little different than last year, they are. Bowker, in their news release of May 31, 2007, says "Due to a change in methodology this year to more accurately track and report on these figures, the statistics cited in this news release differ from the statistics cited in previous years." 291,920 titles is still quite a few books.

Dee Power, the author of The Making of a Bestseller, and the soon to be released The Publishing Primer: A Blueprint for an Author's Success, puts this number into perspective. If the books were shelved side by side one would need four and ½ miles of shelving. If the books were stacked one atop the other, they would reach almost 15 times higher than the world’s tallest building, the Taipei 101, which measures 1,677 feet. To transport one copy of each title, the vehicle would have to be capable of hauling 118 tons or 29 full grown elephants. Laying the books down in a straight line would require a little over 23 miles of railroad tracks.

If an average person read a copy of each title, it would take them 249 years to get through the entire pile. If one cup of coffee was drunk while reading each book, nearly 18,245 gallons would be consumed by the time the last book had been read.

If a copy of each title was purchased at retail, the total expenditure would be enough to send 33 students to Harvard for four years.

If each author received a $5000 advance, the total would nearly approach $1.5 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, nearly 145,000 years ago.


About the Authors

Brian Hill and Dee Power are the authors of several nonfiction books including The Making of a Bestseller, Dearborn Trade. $19.95 trade paperback, ISBN 0793193087 and the soon to be released The Publishing Primer: A Blueprint for an Author's Success, trade paperback, $19.95, Javelina House Publishing, ISBN 9780974075442 trade paperback. Contact them through their website

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