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Acquiring Small Press Monographs: Trends and Analyses
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Acquiring Small Press Monographs: Trends and Analyses

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Gene Hayworth (speaker), Yem Fong (speaker)

Gene Hayworth (speaker), Yem Fong (speaker)

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  • 10/23/2013 Brian wrote: “I thought about changing that number before I sent it, but then I couldn't "quote" it as a complete source. I think $5 million is a much more accurate number…”
  • Lists last retrieved on 10/14/2013removed from the original list non-U.S, university presses, those presses that only produced serials, presses that had not yet published any titles, and those presses that were no longer in business.Ingram list from Sarah Forzetting, emailed on August 8, 2013“Here is the list put together by our North America team. It is not comprehensive but does represent the publishers for which we treat and supply everything that is published each year. “A later comparison of my final list to all Ingrams publishers (7901, showed that Ingram ordered from 300 of them)
  • 62 publishers for which Ingram treats and supplies everything that is published each year.
  • 56,000 Greenhouse Review Press $11,940,000 BAO Editions

Transcript

  • 1. 2013 Charleston Conference Yem Fong Gene Hayworth University of Colorado Boulder
  • 2. Introduction This PowerPoint presents the preliminary results of ongoing research by Gene Hayworth and Yem Fong regarding library acquisition of small press titles. The research has three phases: » » » Analysis of WorldCat holdings records for 637 small press publishers Analysis of small press holdings in the collections of the Norlin Library at the University of Colorado,Boulder Analysis of survey results of a survey of library acquisitions practices of small press titles At this point in our research we have completed analysis of the holdings records for 100 small press publishers, which is represented in several of the charts and graphs in this presentation. The analysis of the small press holdings at the Norlin Library represents our holdings as of November, 2013. We have just begun to send out our survey, and we hope to present an analysis of the results, as well as the data for the additional 537 small press holdings records in WorldCat, at a later date. We have included a link to our survey at the end of this slide presentation, and we invite you to participate by competing it.
  • 3. Why should small presses care? According to a 1988 study (Library Market Outlook), the library market accounts for 10% of all book sales. The market size for libraries has been estimated at almost 120,000 locations 16,500 public libraries, in addition to academic, religious, hospital, prison, military and others 1 At least anecdotally, small press publishers firmly believe that they do not have access to this market. The high cost of distribution agreements, the lack of support from book review sources, and low visibility are all factors which weigh against the small press publisher. This study attempts to gather data to support or refute this claim. » 1Jud, Brian. How to make real money selling books. (p. 175)
  • 4. Why should libraries care? » A recent online report suggests that the Big Six—Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin, HarperCollins, Random House, and Simon & Schuster—are relying on small press publishers as “farm leagues” to scout out talent, because “many of the best well-established writers are represented by the small presses.”1 » Because of the financial instability of many small presses, the material they publish is often ephemeral, and if it is not collected quickly it may not be available long. This is also an example of the type of material which can create distinctions between our collections. » Even a brief search of library literature will reveal that serendipity plays a large role in how our users discover library material. This suggests that we should be proactive in selection of materials that users may never discover unless it is available on our shelves. » From a professional perspective, two of the American Library Association’s key action areas, Intellectual Freedom and Equitable Access to Information and Library Services, underscore the notion that libraries and librarians play a key role in providing access the wealth of information available only through small press publishers. 1 http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/13/the-splashy-debut-novel-is-dead-or-is-it.html
  • 5. What is a Small Press? “Small Press. A category of publishing in which firms generally operate on low budgets. Small press houses are independent organizations whose budgets depend on the publishers’ personal funds, donations from authors, and grants” (p. 396). Writers Encyclopedia. Third Edition. Writers Digest Books. (1996). “…small presses are those that publish, on average, less than 10 books per year.” Brewer, Robert; Joanna Masterson (2006). “Markets: Small Presses.” 9p. 337) 2007 Writer's Market. Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books. “A small press is a publisher that’s independently owned (i.e., not part of a bigger conglomerate, as with large publishing houses like Penguin or Random House), and has low annual sales income and profit. Traditionally, small presses also released limited numbers of books–10 or fewer a year–but digital technology has made publishing cheap, and these days many small presses have substantial publishing lists.” Victoria Strauss. “SMALL PRESSES.” Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (Retrieved 10/09/2013 from http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/small/). “The field of literary publishing incorporates a wide diversity of presses and magazines: those with budgets of less than $5,000 to those of more than $1 million” (The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. Retrieved from http://www.clmp.org/about/ on 10/09/2013)
  • 6. Small Press and Independent Publishers Associations The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) 3000 members International Publishers Association Current membership includes some 6 publishers' organizations from approximately 50 countries Mid-Atlantic Book Publishers Association 54 members listed The Small Publishers Association of North America (No membership details given) APSS www.bookapss.org -- formerly SPAN) does not have a formal definition for the term "small press." According to Wikipedia: "A small press is a publisher with annual sales below a certain level. Commonly, in the United States, this is set at $50 million, after returns and discounts. Small presses are also defined as those that publish an average of fewer than 10 titles per year, though there are a few who manage to do more.” --Brian Jud, Executive Director of SPAN The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses A search of the CLMP Directory, limited to “Press”, returned 1197 results
  • 7. Number of Small Press Companies in the United States As reported by Source 35000 30000 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 International Book Publishing: an encyclopedia (1995) The International (35,000) of Little Magazines and Small Presses (2010-2011) Directory Hoovers (US, Book Publishers, income<=50 million) Reference USA (3000 average) Mergent (US, Book Publishing, income<=50 million) (7350) (26) (4052) Independent Publishing: Today and Yesterday. (1975) Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (1197) (2000)
  • 8. To identify small presses for this study, the authors used the following sources: Poets & Writers Small Presses (309 publishers) http://www.pw.org/small_presses Small Press Distribution (516 publishers): http://www.spdbooks.org/pages/publishers/Publisher-List-No-Description.aspx Consortium Book Sales & Distribution (127 publishers) http://www.cbsd.com/publishers/our-publishers From the 840 unique companies, we eliminated university presses, non-US companies, those presses that only produced serials, and those companies who were no longer in business. This left a total of 636.
  • 9. How are these small presses handled by large distributors? Ingram-Coutts Treated material for 7901 publishers in 2013 300 small press publishers from our list were represented Baker & Taylor Treated material for 7737 publishers in 2013 115 small press publishers from our list were represented
  • 10. Distribution of Small Press Titles B&T, Cons., SPD and Ingram Baker & Taylor only 0% 2% 3% 13% 2% Consortium only 1% 7% 2% 6% 7% 0% Ingram only 1% 4% Baker & Taylor and Consortium Baker & Taylor and Ingram Baker & Taylor andSPD B&T, Consortium and Ingram 25% Consortium and Ingram 27% SPD only SPD and Ingram SPD and Consortium SPD, Ingram and B&T Consortium, SPD and Ingram No distribution by these 4 Distribution by 3 or more B&T, Cons., SPD and Ingram Baker & Taylor and Consortium B&T, Consortium and Ingram SPD, Ingram and B&T Consortium, SPD and Ingram 1 5 4 42 12 Distribution by 2 Baker & Taylor and Consortium Baker & Taylor and Ingram Baker & Taylor and SPD Consortium and Ingram SPD and Ingram SPD and Consortium 5 14 36 29 161 2 Distribution by 1 or less Baker & Taylor only Consortium only Ingram only SPD only No distribution by these 4 12 19 45 169 85
  • 11. Small Press Annual Sales 0% 5% Sales 9% 12% $56,000 - 300,000 16% $301,000 - 500,000 $501,000 - 1,000,000 $1,000,001 - 2,000,000 28% $2,000,001 - 5,000,000 Sales $56,000 - 300,000 $301,000 - 500,000 $501,000 - 1,000,000 $1,000,001 - 2,000,000 $2,000,001 - 5,000,000 $5,000,001 + 30% $5,000,001 + 107 of the 635 (17%) Presses have a listing in RefUSA Sales figures: infoUSA received U.S. commerce supplied data on "sales per employee" for each four-digit SIC code. This figure is multiplied by the number of employees at each location to arrive at a reliable estimate of a company's annual sales. 10 17 32 30 13 5
  • 12. State California New York Maine Illinois Colorado Oregon Texas Washington Minnesota Pennsylvania Ohio New Jersey Arizona Connecticut Missouri Virginia GA DC RI MD N/A NC FL IA KS ME LA NH NM SC VT AR HI KY TN WI IN MO UT AL DE ID MT NE NV OK Total 155 137 32 22 21 21 19 18 16 16 14 12 10 10 10 10 9 8 8 7 6 6 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Small Presses with 10 or more titles by State 0.25 0.2 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 Percentage of total
  • 13. For libraries, these small press demographics have several ramifications: Though most small press companies are located in New York and California, these companies are scattered throughout the United States, often producing material by local authors or containing local content unique to the geographic area of your library. Lack of distribution makes it difficult to locate and purchase much small press material. It can also be difficult to purchase directly from the publisher. Of the 636 in this study, 383 had websites, but only 248 of those contained contact information. It is almost impossible to estimate how many of small press companies there are at any given time, and their financial instability adds to the ephemeral nature of the material they produce.
  • 14. To examine the current state of small press library acquisitions, the authors analyzed the following data for 636 small press publishers in WorldCat for the years 2008 – 2012: Titles produced by year Titles produced by genre Titles produced by format (electronic versus print) Copies of these titles acquired by: • Public libraries • Academic libraries • Consortium libraries • National libraries • Special libraries Acquisitions by US libraries versus non-US libraries Total titles produced by not acquired
  • 15. Small Press titles published per year, compared to the number cataloged in WorldCat 100 90 80 70 60 50 Titles Published Titles Cataloged in Worldcat 40 30 20 10 0 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  • 16. Totals produced with no acquistions 7 6 5 4 Totals with no acquistions 3 2 1 0 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  • 17. Total Aquired 1400 1200 1000 800 600 Total Aquired 400 200 0 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  • 18. Acquisitions by U.S. libraries compared to non-U.S. 1200 1000 800 Acquired in the US 600 Acquired by libraries outside the US 400 200 0 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  • 19. Small Press Titles Produced 50 45 40 35 30 25 Small Press Titles Produced 20 15 10 5 0 Print 2008 E-Book 2008 Print 2009 E-Book 2009 Print 2010 E-Book 2010 Print 2011 In 2008 e-books were 0.6 percent of the total trade market http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/02/books/02bea.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 E-Book 2011 Print 2012 E-Book 2012
  • 20. Copies Acquired 1000 900 800 700 600 500 Copies Acquired 400 300 200 100 0 Print 2008 E-Book 2008 Print 2009 E-Book 2009 Print 2010 E-Book 2010 Print 2011 E-Book 2011 Print 2012 E-Book 2012
  • 21. Small Press Acquisitions by Type of Library 800 700 600 500 Academic 400 Public Consortium 300 National 200 Other 100 Other 0 Print E-Book 2008 2008 Print E-Book Print 2009 2009 E-Book 2010 2010 Print 2011 Consortium Academic E-Book 2011 Print 2012 E-Book 2012
  • 22. Small Press Titles by Genre 40 35 30 25 20 2008 15 2009 10 2010 2012 2011 5 0 2010 2009 2008 2011 2012
  • 23. What does this analysis suggest? Although there was a decline in 2008, small press titles, both in print and electronic, seem to be increasing, but there is a corresponding increase in titles which are not acquired and/or cataloged. The most favored genres for small press publishers are poetry and fiction. Sales of a particular title can create a spike in the results, making it difficult to measure the effect of library purchases. There is a growing interest among small press companies to produce and distribute content in electronic format.
  • 24. » » » » How many do we buy? What do we spend? Where? From vendors or direct from publishers? How do small presses fit into our collection building?
  • 25. CU Boulder Expenditures on Small Press Publishers $12,000.00 $10,000.00 $8,000.00 $6,000.00 Expenditures $4,000.00 $2,000.00 $0.00 FY08 FY09 FY10 FY11 FY12 FY13
  • 26. Blackwell Coutts Alibris Inc. Amazon Other Yankee Book Peddler Photo Eye Books Abe Books Casalini Libri Harrassowitz Barnes and Nobles
  • 27. Publisher Chax Press Coffee House Press Gingko Press George Braziller Granary Books Fiddlehead Poetry Books Burning Deck Roof Books Fairweather Books City Lights Publishers Other Press Owl Canyon Press Cross-Cultural Communications Wave Books Make Now Adventure Publications Counterpath Press Les Figues Press Total # of Titles Purchased Expenditure 6 1 4 1 1 1 6 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 $181.90 $143.00 $120.83 $95.00 $75.00 $75.00 $44.00 $29.85 $27.34 $27.07 $23.00 $21.00 $20.00 $19.99 $16.50 $15.95 $15.95 $15.00 33 $966.38
  • 28. » » » » 81 presses: only one book purchased over 6 years 50 presses: 2 books 28 presses: 25 – 149 books Total small press expenditures: low of .08% of monograph $$ in FY08 to high of .58% in FY10
  • 29. » We rely on major monograph vendors » Faculty requests and knowledge of presses important to drive demand » $$ shifting to Demand driven eBooks, eBook packages » Are we all buying the “same” books? » Are we meeting needs of users? » Is it important to provide venues for lesser known emerging authors in non-mainstream subjects? » Where do we go from here?
  • 30. CONTACT INFORMATION yem.fong@colorado.edu gene.hayworth@colorado.edu Please assist us by completing our online survey: https://cuboulder.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0MPIJKrRWoWr45n
  • 31. Acknowledgements The presenters wish to thank the following individuals for their assistance providing data or gathering information: OCLC: Eric Childress and Jeremy Browning Ingram – Coutts: Sarah Forzetting Baker & Taylor: Rick Shalayda CU Boulder: Esta Tovstiadi and Carol Hagy We also wish to recognize the assistance from the many staff at small presses who are too numerous to name here.