How come most writers' royalty checks don't even come close to paying the bills? Here's why.
Out of curiosity, I got online and tried to hunt down a publishing industry statistic -- namely, how many works of fiction are issued each year. This proved a very difficult number to find. Many record-keepers don't bother to mention what types of books, exactly, they're counting: paper and/or electronic; reissued as well as original titles; the output of all publishers or only larger publishers; POD and independently-published pieces or not. As you can see, there are many variables.
This article states "...There are around 100,000 new English-language works of long-form prose fiction published globally each year." That averages out to 274 a day. However, for 2009, R.R. Bowker tallied 48,738 works of fiction (a figure determined, apparently, through the number and types of ISBNs issued), which breaks down to 134 works a day. Could this be for US publishers alone? I'm not sure.
Click on the post title to read yet another confusing overview.
A while back (less than two years, I think), I saw a list of GLBT titles published over a thirty-day period. The list had been compiled by the diligent and tireless Elisa Rolle. I believe I stopped counting at 150 entries. That's a hefty number for a fairly small fiction niche for one month, and I'm willing to bet it's even bigger now. EDITED TO ADD: I just counted the titles on Elisa's current list. There are close to 300 of them! O_O
Lordie, why can't I be a video game developer!