top of page


How Many Books Exist in the World? The answer is more complicated than you think.

Last night I went on an internet adventure in search of truth. A singular truth: statistics–how many books have been published in the world? After many hours of confused-and arguably fruitless-searching, I turned where anyone would turn: ChatGPT. This is where we landed after an extensive conversation...

Estimation of Total Book Titles Published Worldwide (2009-2022)

ChatGPT 4.0 - September 25 2023 Edition


The publishing sector, with its vast tapestry of works spanning genres, languages, and formats, has evolved immensely over the decades. This report provides a meticulous estimation of book titles published globally from 2009 to 2022. Weaving in insights from diverse formats, insights into self-published titles, and leveraging data from national legal deposit systems, this study seeks to offer a comprehensive view of the global publishing landscape.

ChatGPT's Dataset Sources:

  • Google's Book Project: Acknowledged 129,864,880 unique titles as of 2010 1.

  • WorldCat: An international catalog amalgamating data from approximately 15,000 libraries worldwide.

  • International ISBN Agency: The central authority for ISBN issuance, offering a global perspective on book titles.

  • General Publishing Data:

  • Random House: Dominates approximately 17% of the global market, releasing over 40,000 titles annually.

  • Penguin Books: Represents roughly 15% of the global publishing market with an impressive 35,000 titles published each year.

  • HarperCollins: Holds a 13% market share, marking its presence with 30,000 fresh releases annually.

  • Simon & Schuster: Controls 11% of the global publishing arena, churning out 25,000 new titles yearly.

  • Hachette: Carves its niche with a 10% market stake and a commendable 23,000 titles unveiled annually.

  • WIPO-IPA Pilot Study: A collaborative venture between the International Publishers Association (IPA) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) provided a pivotal dataset for global publishing metrics in 2016, largely based on titles deposited to legal repositories to register intellectual property around the world 2.

  • Legal deposit systems are repositories designed to preserve a nation's intellectual and cultural narratives. Established with an aim to conserve published works and render them accessible to future generations, these systems have been a cornerstone for bibliographic archival3. The data from legal deposits has underscored the rise in publications, observing an increase from 869,496 titles in 2014 to 1,014,856 by 2018. An intriguing trend toward digital publications was also discernible within the collected data3.


Our methodology combined the foundational data from Google's 2010 figures and merged it with growth patterns derived from WorldCat, the ISBN Agency, major publishing entities, and pertinent industry journals.

Data Points:

Year - [Estimated New Titles that Year], Estimated Cumulative Total Titles in History

2009 - [2.8], 126.8

2010 - [3.0]1, 129,864,880 (Google Books Project)

2011 - [3.1]2, 131.9

2012 - [3.2], 133.1

2013 - [3.3], 136.4

2014 - [3.4], 139.8

2015 - [3.5], 143.2

2016 - [3.6], 146.8

2017 - [3.7], 150.5

2018 - [2.38]3, 152.88

2019 - [2.71]3, 154.69

2020 - [2.37]3, 157.06

2021 - [2.42 million new titles]3, 168.48 million total titles in history


  • Regional literature or niche publications not indexed in major global databases might be underrepresented.

  • Lingual or regional biases could result in skewed representation.

  • The clandestine nature of certain publishing data and proprietary stance of publishers can hinder a definitive summation3.

  • Disparate methodologies and standards across countries can introduce variability in legal deposit systems.


  • Taycher, Leonid. "Books of the world, stand up and be counted! All 129,864,880 of you." Google Books Search. 5 August 2010. Link ↩2


  • World Intellectual Property ↩2 ↩3 ↩4 ↩5 ↩6 ↩7

  • ChatGPT. "Data Extrapolation and Analysis for Book Publications." OpenAI, GPT-4 September 25 2023 Version, 27 September 2023. Note: ChatGPT may produce inaccurate information about people, places, or facts.

Looking for your next nightstand book?

"The most raw, potent, and relatable, portrait of the human experience you will read today. This coming-of-age mosaic evokes your deepest fears and highest aspirations throughout your own life's journey. Any page at random will carve a smile, lump your throat, and make you forget yourself until you come back to earth from being lost in your own memories."

bottom of page