A Look At The Top Publishers

Despite my long-term involvement in publishing, it would be a challenge for me to pull together a list of the top general trade publishers or the top Christian publishers.  Often this data is hard to find but Michael Hyatt, CEO at Thomas Nelson, has done the publishing community a great service with his recent article The Top Ten Publishers in America.

Any time you look at list, it’s important to consider what type of data was used to compile the list. Mike writes, “Over the past several months, we have compiled a proprietary database made up of various point-of-sale databases. It includes all the major retail sales channels. It does not include international, ministry, book fairs, direct-to-consumer sales, etc. If it did, we would be higher on the list because of our robust ministry, school fundraising, and live event sales. Scholastic would also be higher on the list because of their huge book fair business. However, this database only tracks sales through retail channels. We are now updating this on a monthly basis. As far as I know, we are the only publisher in world who has this information. The bold is my emphasis.

Several times in these entries, I’ve mentioned one of the hardest things to find is something that is not there. While I understand bestseller lists often use the imprint rather than the parent company name, a number of publishers are not on either list. Yes, they may have some bestselling books but those titles don’t boost them into this top ten list from retail sales. I’ll give you one name through this link but others also came to mind.

It’s an interesting look at some hard to find publishing data.

2 Responses to “A Look At The Top Publishers”

  1. Jerome Says:

    Interesting stuff, Terry. I’m glad to see my publisher (S&S) at number 3. Brandilyn Collins had some interesting posts a few weeks ago about the compilation of bestseller lists. Her research goes hand-in-hand with Hyatt’s. Hope you have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Bonnie Calhoun Says:

    Great info Terry. I love compiling this kind of data!

    Merry Christmas!

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