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According to Bowker’s Books In Print database, there are 362,499 books classified as “History” in print. That’s about 10% of all books still in print in the U.S. Bowker’s preliminary figure for new History books published in 2006 is 8,488. Annual output of new History books has been declining since the peak year of 2003, […]

Sports & Recreation Books

It’s that time of year when begin to think about the great outdoors. It is fitting, therefore, that our first category analysis is of what most of the trade calls Sports & Recreation (Barnes & Noble’s corresponding category is “Sports & Adventure”). In view of the inherent drama of so much sports writing, one would […]


Biography/Autobiography is a category comprised of conventional examinations of contemporary and historical figures by third parties, and accounts of lives and life-altering experiences in the first person. According to the annual report Business of Consumer Publishing 2006, published by Simba Information, Biography generated $431 million dollars in 2006, which placed it ninth out of nineteen […]


Since the settlement of Virginia in the 17th century, cooking has been one of the most active and successful categories in book publishing (cookbooks, food, and wine). Initially, cookbooks were written by chefs for chefs. Later on, cookbooks were written for and used by wealthy women to read to their illiterate kitchen help. In the […]

Communication, Censorship, Corruption and Courage

How to create an atmosphere where writing is dangerous: censorship. How to suppress the creative spirit: censorship.How to build a following despite censorship: online. Even in an authoritarian state that wields enormous economic muscle and instills fear in free markets, the writer Murong Xuecun (a pseudonym for the writer Hao Qunhas) managed to build a […]