Self-Publishing Boom

The growth in self-publishing is for real.

According to a new report from Bowker, about 235,000 works were self-published last year, about 37% of them e-books. While print books still make up the bulk of self-published work, e-book self-publishing is growing much faster. E-book self-publishing is up 129% since 2006 versus 33% for print over that same period.

The report also talked about the three biggest players in the space on the e-book side: Author Solutions (47,094 titles published, now owned by Penguin), Smashwords (40,608) and Lulu (38,005). No mention of Blurb, which claims that in the past 18 months 575,000 authors have used it to publish a print- or e-book.

No doubt, the 2012 numbers, when they arrive next year, will be staggeringly higher. More self-published books are making best-seller lists, likely spurring on aspiring authors to try their hand at it; and publishing an e-book has become de rigueur for consultants and companies that want to market themselves.

In January, at Digital Book World 2012, it was estimated that self-publishing took about $100 million away from traditional publishers in 2011. What will that number be in 2012?

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The rest of the day’s top news:

Amazon to Lose European Tax Advantage (Guardian)
The European Commission has told Luxembourg to close a value-added tax loophole that was allowing Amazon and others to conduct some pretty slick arbitrage: Make UK publishers cover the cost of a 20% VAT on e-books while only paying the 3% that Luxembourg charges.

E-Textbooks Get Failing Grade From Students (DBW)
In 2009, the Governator (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of Calif.) launched an initiative to replace print textbooks with digital ones, then solicited feedback from students. The feedback was overwhelmingly negative. Calif. isn’t the only state to experience this.

Wattpad Goes Dickens (PaidContent)
Community writing site Wattpad will be publishing serial fiction by authors Margaret Atwood and British author Naomi Alderman. Serial fiction is the latest e-book craze ever since Amazon said it was doing it.

Affirming the Publishing Industry’s Health (Atlantic)
Despite what the naysayers, detractors and doubting Thomases of the world say, the publishing industry is actually quite healthy.

From iPad to iPad Mini: Changing the Publishing World (Forbes)
When the iPad came out in 2010, the publishing world was gathered at the first Digital Book World conference to watch it happen and experience it together. Will the iPad Mini change publishing forever as its distant ancestor did some 32 months ago?

Uniquely Indian (Pub Perspectives)
Several large Indian publishers are working together to launch, an e-book platform.

Another Reason to Go E- (DBW)
If you shopped at a bricks-and-mortar Barnes & Noble some time in the past few months, your credit card security might have been compromised. We haven’t heard that happening with Nook yet.

Amazon Launches Kindle, Paperwhite, Fire in Japan (DBW)
Will begin selling e-books in Japan with a new Kindle store. The Paperwhite and Kindle Fire products will begin shipping in the country in Nov. Despite Japan’s slow e-book adoption rate, the territory is perhaps important to Amazon because it’s home turf for Kobo, which is now owned by a Japanese e-tailer, Rakuten. Related: The Two Rules of International E-Book Expansion.

DRM: The Secret Is Out (Lifehacker)
Inspired by the story of an Amazon customer allegedly having her account deactivated and library removed from her device, Lifehacker, a very influential DIY site, has posted very clear instructions on how to remove DRM from books and movies. If the secret wasn’t out before, it is now.

Bar and Books (Daily News)
Want to have a fancy cocktail and curl up with a good book? Here’s a list of the best places to do so in New York City. Top of the list is the aptly named Bar and Books, which, to our knowledge is one of the few bars left in New York City that permits cigarette smoking (it’s a “cigar bar,” technically) – though this is not mentioned in the article.

CORRECTION: Hyperion Rolling Stones Enhanced E-Book (DBW)
Incorrectly linked this yesterday. For those of you who clicked on it and were disappointed, here’s your second chance. Enjoy!


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