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Self-Publishing Could Become a $52 Billion Business

29 September 2013

From AppNewser:

The self-publishing industry has created a new publishing market that could potentially reach $52 billion, according to a new report from media technology firm New Publisher House. According to the report, this is twice as much money as the traditional book publishing industry in the U.S. brings in in its current total annual sales revenue.

. . . .

“Traditional methods of sizing the publishing market have hidden the real industry impact of the self-publishing movement,” stated James O’Toole, founder/CEO of New Publisher House.

Link to the rest at AppNewser and thanks to J.M. for the tip.

This is the first PG has heard of New Publisher House, but it seems to be a potential competitor for Smashwords that may be looking for crowdsourced funding.


19 Comments to “Self-Publishing Could Become a $52 Billion Business”

  1. Wasn’t there a thread on KBoards that identified this as a vanity press and the number 52 billion as something pulled completely out of the air?

  2. No numbers matter in this situation as this is not a market that can be effectively played by only a few majors. It will remain fragmented and reader-driven. Democratic. Fallible. Attempts to control it will fail and waste money and time. It is crowd-sourcing as well as crowd-demand driven and will never serve traditional corporate needs except as a side-line to other revenue streams for the foreseeable future.

  3. Well, yes. Self-publishing will become extremely lucrative. But the publishing house here really hasn’t anything to do with that. It may be trying to grab onto authors who are publishing successfully, hook into their income stream and (most likely) try to take credit for it.

    This one has ‘red flags’.

    • It may be trying to grab onto authors who are publishing successfully, hook into their income stream and (most likely) try to take credit for it.

      This is exactly the card corporate publishing has been trying to play. See the narratives of John Locke, Amanda Hocking, EL James, and now Hugh Howey.

      All were “self-publishing success stories,” but are now often cited as examples of how corporations can “add value” to those success stories. Howey is the first I’ve seen where that second part hasn’t come up yet, but I’m wondering if that’s not a function of both the genre in which he writes and the way he’s maintaining a close relationship with Amazon (as via Kindle Worlds).

  4. I think trying to put a hard number on how big this market could be is somewhat foolish. If publishing is defined merely as “making information public,” you very much blow such estimates up. You can narrow the definition to be more precise and exlusionary, but even if you do I think you run into problems.

    To wit: even if you focus on trade fiction–stories and novels–you’re suddenly considering a market that is only growing. Digital publishing–and particularly independent digital publishing–barely existed until 2008 or so. Further, the biggest facilitator in digital publishing (Amazon) doesn’t make many of its numbers public.

    I think over the next decade we’ll finally see the “self” fall away, and maybe even the “independent” and the “traditional,” because the market’s only going to grow. More authors are going to start using all tools and resources available.

    This is why you see agents and corporate publishers scrambling to expand into author services–and why AuthorSolutions exists in the first place. I think even the corporate publishing industry looks at that $52 billion number and thinks two things:

    1) That seems conservative.

    2) I better act now to get a piece of it.

    • That I use tools and resources which I choose and I pay for doesn’t make me one whit less indy.

      It does crank up my anxiety level. Why hasn’t my artist delivered the art for my cover? How do I finish this novel in time to get it to my editor?

      But back to dependence on a publishing company? Not a chance!

      • I agree with you, JR. Personally, I don’t think being independent requires one to design one’s own covers–any moreso than I’d claim hiring an editor makes one less indie. I’d argue that it’s less about doing those things yourself than it is about managing them–hiring designers and editors.

  5. I don’t understand. Either this is about self-publishing or it is about a vanity press. A vanity press is a publisher.

  6. If you watch the video on their site, it ends with a “click here for more information” link that takes you to…

    “The page you are looking for is currently in “DRAFT” mode and hidden from the public. Please contact the campaign owner if you feel this is in error!”

    I don’t think Mark Coker will lose sleep over them quite yet.

  7. That “New Publisher” site looks horrible – so many smiling faces. So many young, happy and attractive people. So much emphasis on the cute blonde.
    So much search engine optimisation. Every sentence has the word ‘best-seller’ or ‘best-selling’ – and quite often both.
    Not one I’ll be book-marking or checking back on anytime soon.

  8. The vanity presses now call themselves self-publishing companies or author services companies which makes it hard to distinguish them from the companies offering genuine help to self-publishers. I think there are two important issues that help us spot the difference.

    a) Ownership. If you pay for something, it should belong to you. If you pay for your book to be laid out for print or turned into an ebook, the files should belong to you and you should be able to use them elsewhere if you don’t like the service you are getting from the original company. Similarly you should be able to use the cover elsewhere and use the edited version of your text. Plus, if you pay for a print run, the publisher shouldn’t offer you a few free copies – every single copy should belong to you and you should decide how many you have at home and how many go to the distributor.

    b) Control. When you self-publish, the control should be yours. You should choose the designer and the editor, control what happens with the marketing and decide on the price. If you’re just offered the next designer or editor in line, you’re not in control.

  9. I didn’t read the article and I suspect that the numbers are way off. However, what is evident is that the readers’ desire for new material vastly exceeds what the traditional publishers can produce. This isn’t anything new, of course. But with digital publishing and the ease with which ebooks can be made available, the obstacles (namely cost and distribution) have been removed and self-publishing is now a viable option. And readers are discovering new writers as a result.

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