The Rise of Self-Publishers

Self-Publishing Explodes

According to BookConsumer, a market researcher for consumer book buying behavior.  Recent trends reveal some startling new information regarding self-publishing.  Information that was mere rumor to some, and impossible to others.

Check out the following excerpt from Bowker:

Self-Publishing Sees Triple-Digit Growth in Just Five Years, Says Bowker®

New Providence, NJ – October 24, 2012 – The number of self-published books produced annually in the U.S. has nearly tripled, growing 287 percent since 2006, and now tallies more than 235,000 print and “e” titles, according to a new analysis of data from Bowker® Books In Print and Bowker® Identifier Services. The research explores the dramatic U.S. growth of an area once relegated to the fringes of publishing. It finds that while production increases are occurring in both print and e-book formats, the latter is driving the greatest percentage gains. It also shows that while self-publishing may seem like a cottage industry, it is dominated by large firms that offer publishing services to individual authors.

“Self-publishing is now supported by a sophisticated and highly accessible support structure,” said Beat Barblan, Director of Identifier Services for Bowker, an affiliate of information powerhouse ProQuest. “It’s provided everyone who has a story to tell with a method for sharing it and leveled the playing field to an unprecedented degree. This is no longer just vanity presses at work – self-publishing is out of the dark corners and making its way into the mainstream. Notable success stories include a number of self-published authors landing their titles onto the prestigious New York Times bestseller list for ebook fiction.”

Bowker’s research into self-publishing was prompted by an earlier study that showed 2011’s 148,424 self-published print books represented about 43 percent of that year’s total traditional print output and contributed to the first significant expansion in print production since 2007. While print accounts for 63 percent of self-published books, e-books are gaining fast. E-book production in 2011 was 87,201, up 129 percent over 2010. Print grew 33 percent in the same period. While self-publishing is a DIY undertaking, Bowker’s analysis shows its infrastructure is made up of a handful of large firms. In 2011, CreateSpace dominated the print segment, supporting the creation of 58,412 titles (39 percent of self-published print books). Smashwords topped the e-book producers with 40,608 titles (nearly 47 percent of total self-published e-books). The combined divisions of Author Solutions (part of Penguin Group) produced a total of 47,094 titles and Lulu Enterprises checks in with 38,005 titles. The Bowker analysis shows that beyond these four players, no company has more than 10 percent of market share.

Small presses, a category that is defined as publishers who have produced 10 or fewer books, accounted for 34,107 self-published titles — 21,256 print and 12,851 e-books — in 2011. Print book production by small presses increased more than 74 percent between 2006 and 2011 — hearty growth that’s dwarfed by CreateSpace’s 1702 percent increase during the same period. While marketing their works remains the next great hurdle for self-published authors, Bowker research points to major influencers within their control. Bowker surveys of book consumer habits show that authors can effectively reach more readers with online excerpts, retailer recommendations and customer reviews.

Bowker is the official ISBN Agency for the United States and its territories. The Books In Print® database derives a valuable portion of its information from these ISBN assignments, providing the nation’s most comprehensive view of book production. The Self-Publishing Report and other Bowker® Market Research studies that illuminate the business of books are available at

Novelnook’s Role

Being the only 100% free self-publishing avenue, we are opening this publishing opportunity to everyone.

Our services will have dramatic effects on who can publish online, who can write a book, and who can be heard.  Anyone.  That’s our goal.  If you are motivated to write and edit your eBook, we’ll publish it for free.  Oh and you get to keep all of your profits – another industry first.  A pretty sweet deal in light of recent trends in the eBook world.

Where to Start?

What does this mean for self-publishing authors out there? Get involved! At Novelnook, we recommend getting started immediately on the following to increase your online presence:

1. Create your own blog.  There are free services that are easy to use which you can setup in minutes. (WordPress & Blogger)
2. Make a Facebook Page. Get your friends and colleagues to support your writing.
3. Grab a Twitter account and get tweeting.  This will connect you with all kinds of publishers, fans, and other writers & authors.
4. Develop your own website.  If you have the time or technical skill, starting a website can be a huge boost for your eBook.  Your visibility on search engines, advertisements, etc. can bump up your sales and increase your following.  You can also (essentially what Novelnook provides) sell your eBook yourself for 100% of the profit.  Google, WordPress, Wix, and Joomla all offer do-it-yourself packages for developing sites.
5. Sign up for as many publishing services as you can. Some require startup fees (BookBaby), some payout royalties (Smashwords), but only one is completely free (Novelnook).  All are viable options. Hint: Most major eBook retailers give authors 65% of their profit.  Smashwords gives back a bit more at 85%.  Meanwhile Novelnook lets authors keep 100% of their profit.
6. Market your own work through Google Adwords, Facebook ads, and more. Don’t invest in marketing companies unless you have already tried marketing yourself, you may be surprised.  Plus these are cheap, pay as you go, services.
7. Contact radio shows, book events, and join book clubs.  NaNoWrImO is a great community of writers and authors who share ideas and feedback.  Meetups is also a great way to get involved in book gatherings.
8. Stay Motivated! Keep the do-it-yourself attitude and you will be surprised how effective the internet can be in revealing your works to the world.  Not only will you be saving money, but you will have the satisfaction of doing it yourself.  Will you be the next famous Self-Publisher?
9. Ride the wave, the online eBook method of publishing is ripe for the picking.  Our society has many roots based on trends, and this is one on the rise.  In an article by MediaBistro – eBooks have surpassed hard covers in sales in early 2012.

The Time is Right to Self-Publish Online

Self-publishing, online in particular, is well on its way to dominating the book publishing industry.  If you’ve ever wondered when the time would be right to begin your book, it has arrived.  With eBook sales in a sudden exponential eruption. this is it.


One thought on “The Rise of Self-Publishers

  1. That’s amazing and I for one am very happy and proud to be a new and self-published author of both children’s and teen/adult books! It’s so exciting to be a part of such wonderful publishing trend!

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