Publishers Mark Titanic Centennial with Record Number of Books, Says Bowker
March 28, 2012 (New Providence, NJ) — The centennial of the Titanic’s fatal, maiden voyage has prompted a record number of new books on the disaster, according to Bowker’s Books In Print®, a leading and reliable source of information on books and publishing metrics. Ninety-eight books – in print and e-versions --have been brought to market in 2012 in anticipation of a surge of interest from the milestone anniversary. The previous record was 76 titles released in 1998; a year after James Cameron’s movie epic “Titanic” hit the big screen. Bowker is an affiliated business of ProQuest.
“It’s a timeless story that can be told from so many different angles that it generates virtually endless fodder for authors and publishers,” said Kelly Gallagher, vice-president, Bowker Market Research. “With renewed interest from the centennial, publishers are eager to meet demand and have produced an extraordinary range of titles.”
In the past 100 years, more than 650 books have been published about the tragedy -- about a third designed for children and young adults, including one that puts a young Indiana Jones at the scene. While the years before the establishment of the ISBN in the late 1960s are harder to track, examining records from the Library of Congress shows that three, peak years account for 30% of all publishing activity related to the Titanic story. In 1912, 26 books were rushed to market, capturing survivor accounts, minutes of public inquiries, and investigative reports. In subsequent years, works of fact and fiction continued to enthral readers, including Walter Lord’s classic A Night to Remember, but none topped 1912’s prolific production until 1998, when Cameron’s film sparked renewed interest. 2012 marks a new high, with market entries that span reprints of the classics -- including Loss of the S.S. Titanic by Lawrence Beesley, first published in 1912 -- to children’s fiction and even an offering from the “For Dummies” series.