The rise and rise of self-publishing

Publishing Market Shows Steady Title Growth in 2011 Fueled Largely by Self-Publishing Sector

Bowker, the global leader in bibliographic information (they issue ISBNs and produce “Books in Print”), released a report some months ago on print book publishing in the United States for 2011, the most recent year for which statistics are available.

The report gives the lie to the doom and gloom surrounding book printing and the accepted wisdom that book printing is on the way out. The report states “Bowker is projecting that traditional print book output grew six percent in 2011, from 328,259 titles in 2010 to a projected 347,178 in 2011, driven almost exclusively by a strong self-publishing market”.

Bowker states that this is most significant expansion for four years, but that removing self-publishing from the equation would show that the market is relatively flat from 2010.

The report highlights the significance of these figures thus.

“Transformation of our industry has brought on a time of rich innovation in the publishing models we now have today. What was once relegated to the outskirts of our industry—and even took on demeaning names like ‘vanity press’ is now not only a viable alternative but what is driving the title growth of our industry today,” said Kelly Gallagher, Vice-President, Bowker Market Research. “From that standpoint, self-publishing is a true legitimate power to be reckoned with. Coupled with the explosive growth of e-books and digital content – these two forces are moving the industry in dramatic ways.”

So . . . if you have a book in you, start work on it (or dust it off and continue working on it). You are in the vanguard of a powerful new movement that is democratising book publishing, taking the decision about what will be published and what won’t (and arguably what knowledge is “out there” and what isn’t), out of the hands of dollar driven mega-publishers, and putting that decision back in the hands of the author.

We at Kainos Print are uniquely placed to help you, having spent 40 years between us as booksellers, and longer involved in book publishing and printing. A good starting point is our book printing introductory page which you can find here.

The link to the whole Bowker article can be found here.