Number of Children's Books Published

Q. Can you tell me the number of children's books that were published last year?

A. There is an annual publication, the Library and Book Trade Almanac (formerly known as The Bowker Annual Library and Book Trade Almanac) put out by Information Today, Inc., which includes a report on book title production.  For the 2010 (55th) edition, the report, "Book Title Output and Average Prices:  2006-2009," was compiled by Contributing Editor Catherine Barr and Constance Harbison of book wholesaler Baker & Taylor (pages 483-496).

This year's report by Barr and Harbison is historic. For the first time, the numbers for the report from Baker & Taylor are based on the BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications) categories of the Book Industry Study Group, nearly doubling the number of categories of books. But beyond that, starting last year, with the 2009 edition of the Almanac, the longstanding Juveniles book category -- books for grades Pre-K to 12 -- was divided into two separate categories, and so now there are figures for books for children (grades PreK-6) and standalone figures for books for young adults (grades 7-12).

According to "Table 1 /American Book Production, 2004-2009," on pages 484-485, the preliminary 2009 number of children's book titles published is 21,878 (and the preliminary 2009 number of young adult book titles published is 4,644).