A new analysis of U.S. ISBN data by ProQuest affiliate Bowker reveals that the number of self-published titles in 2013 increased to more than 458,564, up 17 percent over 2012 and 437 percent over 2008. Print titles were up a very strong 29 percent over 2012, indicating the format’s continuing relevance to self-publishers. While self-publishing continues to grow, the pace appears to be normalizing after several explosive years.
Read Bowker’s report on self-publishing here: http://bit.ly/selfpub13
“Our general conclusion is that self-publishing is beginning to mature. While it continues to be a force to reckon with, it is evolving from a frantic, wild-west style space to a more serious business,” said Beat Barblan, Bowker Director of Identifier Services. “The market is stabilizing as the trend of self-publisher as business-owner, rather than writer only, continues.”
The analysis also shows:
- Print books have strong value to self-published authors, enabling them to reach a broad audience, often via independent bookstores.
- A handful of companies continue to dominate the publishing services sector for independent authors. More than 75 percent of self-published titles with ISBNs came to market with support from just three companies: Smashwords, CreateSpace and Lulu.
Bowker’s analysis is based on ISBN registrations in the U.S. The vast majority of books in all formats have an ISBN. In addition to the obvious benefit of ensuring unequivocal and clear identification, ISBN registrations – and accompanying metadata from publishers – reveal market trends and enable insights into emerging areas.