Concrete data compiled by the book industry experts at Bowker will be released later this week, but are expected to demonstrate that not only is self-publishing continuing to grow in popularity, but also the the recent wave of self-publishing successes are actually fueling the traditional publishing industry as well. An article in Forbes highlighted some of the possible reasons why the two very distinct publishing arms would be linked in this way and noted some of the trends that the Bowker data uncovered.
First, more publishers than ever before signed authors who had previously self-published their books, a far cry from the days only a few years ago when choosing to self-publish was an all-or-nothing choice. Also, indie authors have finally found their ways onto some of the more well-known bestseller lists, no small feat considering that many of those same bestseller lists are compiled by newspapers who still refuse to review indie authors’ works. More importantly may be the data that shows that, despite criticism from the industry, self-published and indie published titles did not destroy book pricing with their 99-cent books; however, the fourth trend did demonstrate that book prices have taken an overall drop, but this is largely due to high-volume online retailers who can negotiate these prices, not just indie authors who strategize on low pricing as a means to drive book sales.
Amy Edelman, president of IndieReader, told GoodEReader, “While all the Bowker information is great to see verified, it certainly doesn’t come as a surprise to those of us who follow indie publishing. The real breakthrough, however, is still yet to come but it won’t happen until consumers discover that there is a whole new category of great books available to them: and they’re called indies.”
While some critics may still dismiss the contributions indie authors have made to the publishing industry, it’s certainly clear that their contributions are valid. And with growth of over 400% over the last five years and 58% in the past year, it’s also clear that self-publishing isn’t going away any time soon.