The world is becoming increasing small and digital. If you’re reading this blog, you already know that, because you’re interested in online tools for writing, rather than just the typewriter or word processor in a corner of the house. But while everyone seems closer and more intimate now (read as: in-your-face, everywhere) your personal world is expanding at a breakneck pace.
In 2011, Bowker (the agency responsible for assigning ISBN codes to all the books in the US) reported that approximately 43% of the books printed for the year were listed as being self-published. They also noted a rise in the listing of ebooks that are self-published, but because not all outlets require an ISBN (and Bowker only counts the ISBNs) the number was likely much higher than they recorded. It’s estimated that in 2008, ebooks accounted for 1% of all published books, but by 2014 that ratio rose to nearly 35%.
Why the sudden increase in self-publishing? In past years an author would write their masterpiece, then search out an agent; or cold contact a publishing house, praying to get someone to notice their work and want to buy it from them. A very small percentage of authors ever made it past the submission stage. Rejection letters would pile up over the years while waiting on a publisher to take notice.