Bowker: Number of self-published books up 287% since 2006

Originally posted on paidContent (old):

In a new report on self-publishing, Bowker — the company that handles ISBNs (book identifier codes) and other bibliographic info for books published in the U.S. — says that the number of print and ebooks self-published annually is up by 287 percent since 2006 and now totals over 235,000 titles.

Bowker finds that 148,424 print books were self-published in 2011 — that means that 43 percent of all print books published in the U.S. in 2011 were self-published. 87,201 ebooks were self-published. Publishers Lunch notes a few important caveats: Bowker only counts titles with ISBNs, so “KDP exclusives and other sources that still don’t use ISBN numbers” aren’t included. That means the number of self-published ebooks is likely much higher than 87,201. In addition, the print and digital editions of a single title may be counted twice.

Bowker finds that four large companies dominate the self-publishing space. In…

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2 responses to “Bowker: Number of self-published books up 287% since 2006

  1. Draike

    I am a college student asking what is better. isolate self-published/isolate in-house executed publicity campaign vs. third party/social media platform and execution? 1/26 ebook bestseller list had two self-published authors – is that a true example?

    • Kevin Finley

      A self-published author is responsible for covering all PR costs, so going the traditional path is going to be a better route. Also, regardless of what a publishing house does from a PR standpoint, as the author, you should be working on your social media platform.

      Becoming a best selling author is very difficult. A very strong social media platform would be a step in helping an author get there, but you also need a strong traditional campaign. More and more authors are going to the self-publishing route. I imagine as the lines between self and traditional publishing continue to blur, we’ll see more self-published/indie authors on that list.

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