Bowker Report: Self-Published Books Record Triple-Digit Growth

Indie publishers are sticking it to Big Publishing. Sort of. Perhaps we should gauge it as a kick in the shins.

Publisher’s Weekly posted a news brief on a fresh report from Bowker on self-publishing books, “Self-Publishing in the United States, 2006-2011: Print vs. Ebook” (October 2012).

According to PW, the report says self-publishing has seen 287% growth since 2006, with e-book formats driving the gains.

Small presses — publishers who have produced 10 or fewer books — accounted for 34,107 titles in 2011, with 21,256 print books and 12,851 e-books.

Bowker says: “This was a time when the emerging technologies of print on demand and digital publishing dramatically cut the cost of book production and opened the door to almost any author with a story to tell.”

We indie publishers could say, “Yeah, take that, New York! Take that traditional publishing. We don’t need no stinkin’ agents or disdainful acquisition editors.”

The downside is that competition for readers grows as well. Also, with Amazon and Penguin dominating, are the indies truly reaping all the benefits?

The stat that surprises me is the one for Smashwords, based on feedback from authors who say SW is only a small percentage of their sales, compared to Amazon and BN. Anyone have any thoughts on this phenomenon?

If you want to read the entire Bowker report, it’s available at . . . for a mere $139.

Read the entire Publisher’s Weekly article.

About Polishing Your Prose

Larry M Edwards is an award-winning investigative journalist, author, editor and publishing consultant. He is the author of three books, and has edited dozens of nonfiction and fiction book manuscripts. Under Wigeon Publishing, he has produced six books. As author, "Dare I Call It Murder? A Memoir of Violent Loss" won First Place in the San Diego Book Awards in 2012 (unpublished memoir) and 2014, Best Published Memoir. The book has also been nominated for a number of awards, including: Pulitzer Prize, Benjamin Franklin Award, Washington State Book Award, and One Book, One San Diego. As Editor, "Murder Survivor’s Handbook: Real-Life Stories, Tips & Resources" won the Gold Award in the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Book Awards, Self-Help. For a sample edit and cost estimate, contact Larry: larry [at] larryedwards [dot] com -- -- --
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