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Self-publishing boom lifts sales by 79% in a year

First published on www.theguardian.com

Self-published books’ share of the UK market grew by 79% in 2013, with 18m self-published books bought by UK readers last year, according to new statistics.

With print sales falling by 10% last year, and book purchasing as a whole down 4%, ebook sales continue to grow, according to Nielsen’s comprehensive tracking of book purchases, up 20% in the UK in 2013, with 80m ebooks bought by UK consumers, to a value of £300m. But it is the DIY market which is showing the most eye-watering growth, up 79% to 18m self-published titles purchased, worth £59m, according to the statistics released on Friday.

Self-published books still account for a tiny proportion of the overall market – 5% of the 323m total books bought, and 3% of the £2185m spent on books last year. But, presenting his figures at The Literary Consultancy’s Writing in a Digital Age conference this morning, Steve Bohme, research director at Nielsen Book, predicted the figure was only going to rise.

“Self-publishing is absolutely still booming,” he said. “You can see print books down, and ebooks as a whole up – but a lot of that is driven by  self-publishing, which has a much higher growth rate.”

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