Self-publishing continues to climb according to Bowker, the bibliographic company. In 2008 285,394 new books were published by print-on-demand companies, a 132% increase compared to 2007. U.S. publishers printed 275,232 new books and editions in 2008–a 3.2 % drop compared to the year before. On Demand and short-run books exceeded the number of traditional books last year. It is the first time that has happened.
What does it mean? Well, if not else, people might be reading less, but they are certainly writing more, avoiding the traditional gatekeepers, i.e., agents and editors, and slapping down hard cash to see their names and words in print.
I’m all for it. I’d just remind everyone to get an editor and find objective readers to read and comment on your manuscript before you pay for the printing. At the end of the day, you’ll be glad that you did.