Self-publishing is on the rise in the book industry, increasing by 17% in the year 2013. Self-publishing was made monetarily feasible through the spread of e-books. Interestingly enough, despite the total rise of self-publishing in 2013, self published e-books experienced a drop of 1.6%. Self-publishing in print actually pulled the heavy weight and rose 29%.
Self-publishing in print has several obstacles, primarily distribution and pricing. It is difficult to get a self published print book distributed widely to bookstores and libraries without considerable amounts of personal time put into exposing your book to individual distributors. Also, most self-published print books are print on demand (POD). This allows the author to be financially free from having to invest a large sum up front to print their book. However, it is consequently a more expensive method of production that puts the price burden on the buyer. These obstacles result in more expensive and harder to distribute books that will, on average, only sell 250 copies over their lifetime.
Why do it then? The answer is that the statistics point to a print market that isn’t disappearing. 80% of people read a book once per year. 14% of those individuals listen to audio books, 28% read e-books, and 69% read print. By self-publishing in print as well as e-books you are reaching a previously unreachable market. It is not as profitable per unit as e-books, but it is a way to expand your readership to the devoted print readers of the world.