Self publishing continues to grow strongly

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The number of self-published titles in 2013 increased to more than 458,564, up 17 per cent over 2012 and some 437 per cent over 2008, according to an analysis of U.S. ISBN data by ProQuest affiliate Bowker.

The research reveals that print titles were up 29 per cent over 2012, indicating the format’s continuing relevance to self-publishers. While self-publishing continues to grow, the pace appears to be slowing after several years of fast growth.

'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's director of identifier services. 'The market is stabilising as the trend of self-publisher as business-owner, rather than writer only, continues.'

The analysis also shows that print books have strong value to self-published authors, enabling them to reach a broad audience, often via independent bookstores. It also shows that a handful of companies continue to dominate the publishing services sector for independent authors. More than 75 per cent of self-published titles with ISBNs came to market with support from just three companies – Smashwords, CreateSpace and Lulu.