Self-published books triple in production since 2006

Self-published books make up 43 percent of the print titles released in 2011 and helped to drive the first growth in print production since 2007, according to a new study from Bowker.

What happens to all these self-published books, one may wonder? Do they mostly end up in boxes in the authors' garages? Not necessarily.


I'd bet that Bowker's figures (the basis for this story) are based on ISBN usage. I'd also bet that the vast majority of self-pub books done using Lulu do not have ISBNs, since unless you expect to get bookstore sales, there's no good reason to have one. (And having one makes Lulu the publisher of record, rather than the author.) CreateSpace always requires an ISBN.

So: I suspect these numbers considerably under-report niche self-pubs via Lulu. Since Lulu's published more than two million items from more than one million authors during its decade, it's a strong suspicion.

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