Here’s an incredible list of stats on books from Dan Poynter [via Booklad] Samples (Poynter sources all these; go there for the links and much, much more; I don’t know how fresh this all is):
One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives. …
58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
42% of college graduates never read another book.
80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57% of new books are not read to completion.
Most readers do not get past page 18 in a book they have purchased.Customers 55 and older account for more than one-third of all books bought.
Number of publishers
1947: 357 publishers
1973: 3,000 publishers
1980: 12,000 Publishers. The New York Times, February 23, 1981.
1994: 52,847 publishers. Books in Print.
2003: About 73,000 (plus those who publish through POD/DotCom publishers; they use the publisher’s ISBN block.)
78% of the titles published come from the small/self-publishers.
Most initial print runs are 5,000 copies.
A larger publisher must sell 10,000 books to break even.
A book must move in the stores in six weeks.
On the average, a book store browser spends eight seconds looking at the front cover and 15 seconds looking at the back cover.
Women buy 68% of all books.
Jerold Jenkins’ stats on writers:
81% of the population feels they have a book inside them.
27% would write fiction.
28% would write on personal development
27% would write history, biography, etc.
20% would do a picture book, cookbook, etc.
6 million have written a manuscript.
6 million manuscripts are making the rounds.
Out of every 10,000 children’s books, 3 get published.