The Growth of Self Publishing

Okay, we all know the sky is falling in the publishing industry. This is nothing new. People in the industry have been whining for years about the state of publishing, declining readership, rising paper costs, etc. It’s sooo bad! Whah!

The negative perception of our changing economy hasn’t helped matters any. Now the whiners have one more thing to add to their list of earth-shattering problems which can’t never ever be solved in a gazillion years. Oh! It’s the end. Woe is us!

In reality, the publishing industry has taken a big hit in these interesting times. The economy may not be as bad as certain factions want us to think, but people are suffering.

Almost all of the New York houses are laying off high-ranking staff. Small bookstores are closing. Major media companies are dropping people by the hundreds. Even the comic book industry, often considered recession-proof, is feeling the pinch.

However, one segment of the publishing industry seems to be flourishing.

San Francisco-based self-publishing company Blurb has reported growth of 200 percent in ’08, with sales of nearly $30 million. Founded in 2004 by Eileen Gittins, the company has produced almost one million books for 750,000 clients in 60 countries.

According to The New York Times, “Self-publishing companies are ramping up their title counts and making money on books that sell as few as five copies, in part because the author, rather than the publisher, pays for things like cover design and printing costs.”

In the traditional publishing model, money always flows from the publisher to the author. This way of doing things has it’s problems and (c’mon, Folks) can’t last forever.

In self-publishing, money usually flows from the author to the publisher. This model also has it’s problems, but does make it easier for the publisher to handle books which don’t sell all that well and still be able to turn a profit.



About James A Woods
Freelance Writer, Constant Learner, Family Man

2 Responses to The Growth of Self Publishing

  1. Rob O. says:

    I predict that there’ll be more services like Blurb to come along that will offer blog-to-book publishing. The market for such might be small now, but since blogging has hit its stride, I’ll bet there’s going to be more authors interested in making the most of their work.

    My wife has just started tinkering with Blurb to turn our Russian Adoption Journal into a book that documents our process.

  2. Pingback: 3 Options in Self Publishing « The Sky’s the Limit

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