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London 2012 drives record book publications

30th July 2012

There has been a record number of books published to tie in with the London Olympics, in comparison to past Games, according to new market analysis.

Research carried out by Bowker reveals that 120 books focused on London 2012 have been published this year, which exceeds the previous record of 109 titles published in 2008 to tie in with the Beijing Games.

Since 1996, there have been consistent peaks in book production relating to the summer Olympic Games and this has continued in 2012.

According to the data, Michael Phelps is the subject of more books than any other athlete this year, due largely to his record-breaking eight gold medal haul in 2008 and expectations that he will surpass the all-time medal-winning haul of Russian Larisa Latynina at these Games.

Kelly Gallagher, vice-president of Bowker Market Research, commented: 'Popular sports combined with big personal medal counts, such as those of Michael Phelps, adds to the ability of publishers to capitalise on interest surrounding and sparked by the Games.'

She believes that advances in printing technology are contributing factors in the dramatic growth in publishing activity associated with the Olympics.

Since 2008, 32 books have been published about Michael Phelps – far more than the total written about Mark Spitz, a swimmer whose achievements in the 1972 Games, when he won seven gold medals, mirrored those of Phelps.

Ms Gallagher said that comparing the number of books about Phelps versus Spitz illustrates the impact on-demand printing is having on the creation of 'instant' books.

'Publishers can now prepare books, have them at the ready and if medal wins are big, produce them quickly to meet demand when it is at its highest,' she added.

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