According to the latest report from ProQuest affiliate Bowker, self-publishing grew at a rate of more than 28 percent in 2017, up from an 8 percent increase during the prior year. The total number of self-published titles grew from 786,935 to 1,009,188, surpassing the million mark for the first time.
Self-publishing of print books increased by 38 percent in 2017 for a total of 879,587.
This is the fifth consecutive year of print growth – driven by a 50 percent increase at CreateSpace, a self-publishing platform. Self-published ebooks decreased by 13 percent, continuing a downward trend for the third successive year. Two service providers, Smashwords and Lulu, accounted for 105,037 ebook titles, 81 percent of the ebook total of 129,601.
As the numbers confirm, self-publishing continues to grow each year. According to Beat Barblan, Director of Identifier Services at Bowker, “Self-publishing shows no signs of slowing down and continues to grow at a steady rate. CreateSpace was very popular in 2017 – and now that its customers are moving to the new Kindle Direct Publishing platform, we don’t expect any decline in self-publishing.”
Since 2012, the number of ISBNs assigned to self-published titles has grown 156 percent.
“We believe that this is due, in large part, to the increasing number and quality of products and services now available from several providers to aid authors who choose to publish some or all of their titles independently,” Barblan said. “In addition, there are numerous associations serving the indie author community that promote best practices and stand ready to offer solutions and support.
This annual study from Bowker highlights self-publishing trends in print and ebook formats from 2012 to 2017, based on the number of titles registered in the Bowker Books In Print® database.