Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Self-published books in the US grew by 40% in 2018

Self-publishing in the US grew by 40% in 2018, according to a report published by Bowker.

In total 1.68 million print and ebooks were self-published in 2018, up from 1.19 million in 2017.

According to the report, self-published print books were up by 45% for 2018, while Bowker data shows that self-published ebooks decreased by 0.82%, continuing a downward trend for the fourth consecutive year. Ebooks accounted for nearly 8% of all self-published titles in 2018.

Bowker ebook data is based on the number of ISBNs issued using its Identifier Services, and therefore does not include ebooks self-published on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform, which issues its own Amazon ASIP identifiers. As Publishers Weekly notes: ‘Amazon is considered to be largest publisher of self-published ebooks, even if no number is available.’

In light of the exclusion of Amazon’s ebook data, Bowker’s report shows that three platforms accounted for 92% of all self-published print and ebooks in 2018: CreateSpace, with 1.4 million self-published print titles last year; Smashwords, which published 71,969 titles in 2018; and Lulu, which published 67,477 titles.

Bowker vice president of publishing and data services Beat Barblan said, ‘As more authors take advantage of the abundant tools now available to publish, distribute and market their own books, we expect that self-publishing will continue to grow at a steady pace.’


Category: International news