New Survey on Digital Publishing Industry Trends Shows Top Concerns in Growing Self-publishing Market

Nov 03, 2015

Digital publishers, including self-publishing authors, worry over content quality and formatting as they continue to focus on digital production, according to a survey on trends in the digital publishing industry. The number of survey respondents that have digitally published continues to rise, to 72.9% from 63.6% in 2014, while the number of self-publishers jumped nine percentage points to 45.1%. The survey was jointly conducted by Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL), and Bowker.

The 2015 survey saw a 300% increase in the number of participants over the first survey, which DCL CEO Mark Gross believes indicates that publisher are realizing that things are changing and how important it is to respond to readers' demands for multi-channel outputs. While the number that believe ebooks are held to a lower standard than print actually increased over 2014 (12.8% versus 9.8%), that might be because the bar is rising, and most respondents believe that the quality of digital publishing continues to improve, with 52.5% rating most ebooks as either good or excellent compared to 46.5% in 2014.

Increasingly, digital publishers include some level of quality assurance to ensure error-free content, with nearly 36% performing self-checks, 36% hiring editors, and 23% performing QA prior to conversion. And, though the number that self-publish rose to 45.1% (from 36.3% in 2014), respondents who plan in-house publishing dropped to 9.5% from 20% in 2014, with those seeking support from consultants or conversion firms increasing by a little more than 1%.