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10 Interesting Facts about the Book Publishing Industry

The book publishing industry has a history spanning several decades and many great continents. It is arguable that some may even consider books to be the greatest medium to deliver content in the history of mankind. With so many years behind the publishing industry, it would only make sense that some interesting things have happened along the way.


To pay homage to some of the strangest records, stats, and facts ever recorded in publishing history, we have created a Top 10 list about the book publishing industry for your entertainment. We hope you have fun reading some of the eyebrow-raising, jaw-dropping, and just outright crazy facts we were able to find out about this great industry!


Without further ado, enjoy!


10 Interesting Facts About the Book Publishing Industry

1. According to a survey conducted by The New York Times, 81% of Americans feel they have a book in them. But most haven’t written it.


2. The Bay Psalm Book was the first book to be published in British North America. This was in 1640, just a mere 136 years before the United States became a country and 267 years before Canada was formed.


3. One of 11 original copies of The Bay Psalm Book sold in 2013 for a whopping record of $14.2 million. (Little did they know they could have opened several bargain bookstores for that very same price.)


4. Without paper, we quite possibly would not have publishing! This great invention originated in ancient China during the years of 206 BC – 220 AD. Though that’s not a specific date or length of time, the e-readers certainly have a long ways to go to catch up.


5. Approximately 60% of English-language books are produced through the “Big Five” publishing houses. Book Depot is proud to say that we are currently distributing bargain books issued by all of them and a wide selection of many other notable publishing houses as well.


6. Now an asset to the book selling industry, bargain books have not always been in the picture. In 1986, Book Depot was formed and became a pioneer in this industry, which now distributes many millions of books each year. Can you imagine how much paper was shredded and wasted up to that point?!


7. Books actually come in all shapes and sizes! While we are accustomed to popular formats such as hardcover, softcover, board books, etc., there are some publishers who look to make their mark in a different way. In our warehouse we have seen books as small as a business card, as big as a television, and even ones that are shaped like a wine bottle!


8. Though there is little doubt, the best-selling book of all time is the Bible. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is estimated between the years of 1815 and 1975 that a whopping 5 billion copies were distributed!


9. The largest known book to have been published is titled The Little Prince and measured an incredible 6’7” high and 10’1” wide when open!


10. Founded in 1534, the Cambridge University Press is the oldest publishing house in the world. It’s incredible to think they have a 500th anniversary right around the corner!


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