Well, Yes, I Suppose Smaller Houses Sell Some Books; Or, Why Your Response to BookStats Is Important*

April 2011
by Judith Appelbaum

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Well, Yes, I Suppose Smaller Houses Sell Some Books; Or, Why Your Response to BookStats Is Important*

by Judith Appelbaum

It’s hard to reflect sales by independent publishers in industry statistics, even though the number of publishers in this category is huge and growing fast, and even though many independent publishers generate thousands of sales in a year and some have annual revenues in the millions—or tens of millions—of dollars.

These revenues aren’t accurately reflected in conventional tracking systems for a variety of reasons.

The small and midsized publisher segment is essentially invisible because it’s made up of tens of

thousands of companies scattered all across the country.

Many smaller publishers don’t surface for the groups that create statistics, because these groups tie to

trade associations that primarily represent other segments of the industry.

Independent publishers’ sales often occur in channels outside the trade, which the book industry

doesn’t monitor, as well as in book-trade channels, which are routinely tracked but dominated by

the huge houses.

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