Friday, October 26, 2012

Statistics lie

Here's an interesting article on self-publishing, which says that a Bowker report indicates there were about 235,000 self-published books in the US in 2011. The article further claims that "E-book self-publishing production is up 129% since 2006" and that "most self-published titles are still print books (some 63%)." It also offers this unlikely analysis of the current (or 2011) market: "A handful of larger players dominate the e-book self-publishing market, according to the report. Author Solutions (47,094 titles, now owned by Penguin) and Smashwords (40,608 titles) led the way but Lulu wasn’t far behind (38,005). Outside of these three and Amazon’s CreateSpace, which dominates the print side of self-publishing, no other company has more than 10% market-share."

Anyone who's been following the indie market knows that this is all wildly off. Most indies are e-publishing, not print publishing. Ebook self-publishing production is up way, way more than 129% since 2006, or I'll eat my hat. And the idea that Author Solutions and Smashwords are the dominant forces in the market is just silly. Amazon, anyone?

The answer to this mystery is that Bowker is counting ISBNs. Most indies don't use them. So most Amazon and B&N ebooks are going uncounted in this report-- which means that this article is very badly misleading as to the true state of indie publishing today, and is almost certainly grossly understating the true numbers.

1 comment:

  1. i totaly agree on that and wow, not thought out like at all.