An analysis of U.S. ISBN data by ProQuest affiliate Bowker revealed that the number of self-published titles in 2012 jumped to more than 391,000, up 59% over 2011 and 422% over 2007. Ebooks continue to gain on print, comprising 40% of the ISBNs that were self-published in 2012, up from just 11% in 2007.
The analysis shows the growing prominence of a handful of companies that offer publishing services to individual authors. More than 80% of self-published titles came to market with support from just eight companies, including Smashwords and CreateSpace.
Bowker's research on self-publishing includes surveys of authors that provide insight into where the market is going and services required by these writers. Those who intend to self-publish most often plan to bring fiction to market, followed by inspirational or spiritual works, books for children and biographies. The majority cite finding a traditional publisher as an obstacle, and also feel challenged by marketing.