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Small Publishers Drive Big Sales

Posted at 3:15AM Thursday 31 Jan 2013

Small Publishers Drive Big Sales

Small and mid-size publishers grew 4-5 times industry average over 4-year span, contributing more than $2 billion in total value

Small is the new big when it comes to book publishing, reports a just-released article, "Independent Publisher Power <> ," in the Independent Book Publishers Association monthly Independent magazine. In an era that has seen flat to minimal growth in recent years, small and medium-sized publishers, writes article contributor Kelly Gallagher, vice president, content acquisition at Ingram and member of the IBPA Board of Directors, "are the industry's healthiest and fastest-growing segment."

During the years 2008-2011:

· Independent publishers with annual net sales of less than $5 million added $2.2 billion to industry value.

· Independent publishers netting less than $500,000 annually grew at four times the industry average, at a rate just under 13 percent.

· Independent publishers netting $500,000 to $5 million annually grew at five times the industry average, at a rate of over 15 percent.

In addition, independent publishers with annual net sales between $500,000 and $5 million grew unit sales by more than 25 percent, double the industry growth rate, while independent publishers with less than $500,000 in annual net sales grew unit sales by nearly 23 percent during the same time.

Compare these numbers to overall industry net dollar sales growth of 2.9% and net unit sales growth of 12% over the same four-year period, according to BookStats, the collaborative industry sales reporting source from the Book Industry Study Group and the Association of American Publishers, and the conclusion is that, as Gallagher notes, independent publishers "are making a significant contribution to the publishing community. At this moment, they are the only ones showing significant growth in all categories, revenue, units, and population."

For more information and to access the entire article, entitled "Independent Publisher Power <> ."

About IBPA

Founded in 1983, the Independent Book Publishers Association is the largest not-for-profit trade organization for publishers in the United States, serving 3000 small and midsize book publishers. IBPA's mission is to lead and serve the independent publishing community by providing advocacy for publishers' rights, education on all aspects of publishing, and tools for success. For more information visit IBPA's website at

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