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The Rise and Impact of Self-Publishing 2013-2014

The Rise and Impact of Self-Publishing 2013-2014

In 2012, the book publishing industry was rocked when a self-published book by an author nobody had heard of landed on a national bestseller list. For 133 weeks (and counting, as of this writing) the erotic title, 50 Shades of Grey—and its two sequels— would dominate bestseller lists, smash industry records, and, most significantly, signify to the literary world that the long maligned practice of self-publishing had arrived.

The presence of self-published books on bestseller lists has grown so much, and with such consistency, the coverage of the titles has become a regular feature in Simba Information’s monthly periodical, Book Publishing Report. It is this phenomenon that has led Simba to study self published books—and the people who buy them—with a new perspective. This report will show what extent U.S. adults purchase self published books, what factors have led to the rise, and what titles, authors and categories have led the way since 2011.


  • Methodology
    • Introduction
    • Sources of Information
      • Identifying Buyers of Self-Published Books
      • Secondary Research
  • Introduction
    • Purchasers of Self-Published Books: Topline Results
      • Table In the Last Twelve Months, Have You Purchased Any Self-Published Books? (2012-2013)
      • Paperback Consumption vs. Digital Book Consumption
      • E-Book Usage Rates Among Self Published Book Buyers
        • Table Paperback Consumption Trends vs. E-Books (2012)
        • Table Do You Use E-Books? (June 2013)
      • Smartphone and Tablet Ownership Rates of Self Published Book Buyers
        • Table Percent of U.S. Population Who Owns A Kindle Fire, iPad, Smartphone or Other Tablet (2013)
  • Demographics of Self Published Book Buyers
    • Introduction
      • Gender
        • Table Demographics by Gender
        • Table Demographics by Age Group
      • Age Group
      • Marital Status
        • Table Demographics by Marital Status
        • Table Demographics by Children in Household
        • Table Demographics by Employment Status
      • Children in Household
      • Employment Status
      • Educational Attainment
        • Table Demographics by Educational Attainment
        • Table Demographics by Race/Ethnicity
        • Table Demographics by Urban vs. Suburban/Rural Locale
      • Race/Ethnicity
      • Urban vs. Suburban Locale
        • Table Demographics by Region
        • Table Demographics by Household Income Bracket
      • Region
      • By Household Income Bracket
  • Self Published Book Buyers: Key Data
    • Introduction
      • Where E-Books Were Acquired, Last Three Months
        • Table Where E-Books Were Acquired, Last Three Months (April-June 2013)
        • Table Do You Use Apps on Your Smartphone or Tablet?
      • Use of Apps on Smartphone or Tablet
      • Educational App Buyers Among Smartphone/Tablet Owners 2013
        • Table Educational App Buyers Among Smartphone/Tablet Owners 2013
      • Money Spent on Apps, 2013
        • Table All Adults/Self Published Book Buyers: Money Spent on Apps (June 2012-June 2013)
        • Table Self Published Book Buyers and Loyalty Programs (2013)
      • Media Services and Loyalty Programs Used
        • Table Bought Comics/Graphic Novels (Print or Digital, 2013)
      • Comic Books/Graphic Novel Use-Print and Digital
      • E-Books Read
        • Table All Adults/Self Published Book Buyers: E-Books Read (June 2012 - June 2013)
      • E-Books Purchased
        • Table All E-Book Users/Self Published Book Buyers: E-Books Purchased (June 2012 - June 2013)
        • Table All E-Book Users: E-Books Acquired Free (June 2012 - June 2013)
      • E-Books Acquired Free
        • Table Money Spent on E-Books (June 2012-June 2013)
      • Amount of Money Spent on E-Books
      • The Most Popular Devices Used for E-Books
        • Table Popular Devices Used for E-Books (All E-Book Users and Self Published Book Buyers, 2013)
      • Channels Used for Print Books
        • Table Channels Used For Print Book Purchasing (All Adults, Self Published Book Buyers, E-Book Users, 2013)
        • Table Children's & YA Print & Digital Purchasing (June 2012-June 2013)
      • Children's & YA Print & Digital Purchasing
      • Money Spent on Children's/YA Books
        • Table Self Published Book Buyers, E-Book Users: Amount of Money Spent on Print & Digital Children's/YA Books (June 2012-June 2013)
        • Table Self Published Book Buyers, E-Book Users: Reasons for Buying Print Children's/YA Books (June 2012-June 2013)
      • Reasons for Purchasing Children's/YA Books
      • Opinions on Children's Reading Habits
        • Table Self Published Book Buyers, All Adults: Children Read Books Less Than They Used To
      • Opinions on Tablets Influencing Children's Reading Habits
        • Table Self Published Book Buyers, All Adults: Children Would Read More Books for Leisure if They Had Their Own Tablet Device
      • Opinions on Children and Computer Use
        • Table Self Published Book Buyers, All Adults: Children Today are on the Computer Too Much
        • Table Self Published Book Buyers, All Adults: Children Would Learn More Effectively With Tablets in Schools Than Traditional Textbooks
      • Opinions on the Effectiveness of Tablets in the Classroom
  • Bestselling Self Published Titles & Authors
    • Introduction
      • Self-Published Entries on National Bestseller Lists
        • Table Self-Published Entries on Bestseller Lists (Q1 2011 - Q2 2013)
      • Digital vs. Print Self Published Titles
      • Authors vs. Entries
        • Table Digital vs. Print Self-Published Titles (Q1 2011 - Q2 2013)
        • Table Authors vs. Entries (Q1 2011 - Q2 2013)
      • Bestselling Self-Published Titles by Class
        • Table Bestselling Self-Published Titles by Class (Q1 2011 - Q2 2013)
      • All Titles, Self-Published Works, and E-Books
      • Performance of 50 Shades Trilogy
        • Table All Titles, Self-Published Works, and E-Books (Q1 2010 - Q2 2013)
        • Table 50 Shades Trilogy: Individual Title Performance and Bundle Performance (2011 - 2013)
      • Top 20 Self Published Books (January 2010 - June 2013)
      • Top 20 Self Published Authors (January 2011 - June 2013)
        • Table Top 20 Self-Published Titles (January 2010-June 2013) (Out of 256 Total)
        • Table Top 20 Self Published Authors (January 2011 - June 2013) (out of 156 total)
      • Top 20 Imprints (January 2011 - June 2013)
      • Top 20 Self Published Book Categories (January 2011 - June 2013)
        • Table Top 20 Self Published Imprints (January 2011-June 2013) (out of 140 total)
        • Table Top 20 Self Published Categories (January 2011 -June 2013) (out of 37 total)
  • Forecasts and Conclusions
    • Table 2013 - 2016 Projections for % of Adults Purchasing Self Published Titles (digital vs. print)

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