Small and Independent Publishers: An Analysis of Sales Data

July 2004
by Robert M. Wharton and Albert N. Greco

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During the fall and winter of 2003, we worked with PMA on a study of small and independent book publishers designed to determine net publishers’ revenues and units for 2002 for selected companies in this segment of our industry, which is estimated to consist of approximately 80,000 firms.

The goals of the study were to:

1. Collect statistically reliable data on the breadth and depth of small and independent publishing operations in the United States because they constitute a vitally important but underexamined sector of the book industry

2. Determine net revenue and unit data in specific categories for a subset of this sector, with a view toward incorporating sales by smaller publishers in Book Industry TRENDS, the annual volume of statistics we have been compiling for five years for the Book Industry Study Group (BISG)

We began by preparing a draft questionnaire with instructions, definitions, and a deadline. The instruction sheet said that all submitted questionnaires would remain confidential and that only aggregated data would be made public.

These documents were reviewed and revised by BISG and PMA.

In late November 2003, PMA sent an e-mail to members with the instruction and questionnaire documents as attachments. All PMA members were asked to complete and send questionnaires directly to our office via fax or e-mail attachment by December 30, 2003.

Rounding Up Responses

We received 233 questionnaires,…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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