Nearly half of all books published on the mainland are unsold, reflecting a massive mismatch between supply and reader demand, a Chinese Academy of Social Sciences report shows. In its 'Report on the Development of China's Cultural Industry' released yesterday, the academy said that for every 100 books sold in 2005, another 98 were piled up in warehouses around the country. The report said the estimated value of the stockpile rose about 7.5 per cent year on year in 2005 to 48.29 billion yuan. However, compared with 2004, revenue increased by 1.48 per cent in 2005 even though the number of sold copies dropped by 5.52 per cent, pointing to an increase in book prices. Hao Zhensheng , one of the compilers of the report and director of the General Administration of Press and Publication's Publication Science Research Institute, said the massive stockpiling reflected the failure of publishers to meet the needs of the market. Mr Hao said publishers simply followed each other's lead without launching their own initiatives or finding out what people really wanted. 'When there is a type of popular book, several other similar books on the same theme will come out without [publishers] conducting deep analysis of market demands,' he said. Mr Hao said book piracy had worsened, cutting tax revenue for the government and royalties for authors and publishers. 'As a result, [publishers and authors] will not have enough financial support for developing new products,' he said. Beijing-based private publisher Wang Lin agreed. 'There are not many original books. Some books simply copy other popular ones, or even change a little bit to make them 'new' books,' he said.