Self-Publishing Breaks a Million

Bowker has updated their self-publishing statistics with numbers from 2017 – the first year with more than one million self-published books carrying ISBNs. Bowker counted 1,009,188 ISBNs issued to self-published authors, a 28% increase over 2016. (That’s doubtless far lower than the actual number of self-published books, as many ebook authors don’t bother with ISBNs at all since Amazon, the dominant ebook retailer, doesn’t require them.)

The increase comes from print books, with 879,587 ISBNs issued, a 38% increase over 2016. Most of those (more than 85%) were for books published via Amazon’s CreateSpace print-on-demand program. Ebook authors are buying fewer ISBNs (or publishing less), with only 129,061 assigned last year, down 13% from the year before. CreateSpace (soon to merge with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing ebook program) has seen huge growth, while the other leading print self-publishing platforms, like Lulu and Author Solutions, have declined (by 5% and 19% respectively).

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