Steven Piersanti, Senior Editor, Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Updated March 1, 2023
According to the latest Bowker data (Publishers Weekly, February 20, 2023), 2.3 million books were self-published in the US in 2021, which was the third year in a row that more than 2 million books were self-published. This is the number of new titles that received an ISBN from Bowker. Several years ago Bowker stopped releasing the numbers of new titles that were not self-published, but a recent industry estimate is that each year “between 500,000 to 1 million . . . new titles are published through traditional publishers” (Dean Talbot, “Number of Books Published per Year,” WordsRated, February 2, 2022). So the total number of new titles being published each year in the US—combining self-published and traditionally published titles—is approximately 3 million. And here is the truly shocking figure: the annual number of new titles published each year has grown by more than ten times in the past sixteen years. According to Bowker, just 282,500 new titles (combining self-published titles and traditionally published titles) were published in the US in 2005 (Bowker Report, April 14, 2010).