Self-published books: An empirical "snapshot"

Jana Bradley, Bruce Fulton, Marlene Helm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The number of books published by authors using fee-based publication services, such as Lulu and AuthorHouse, is overtaking the number of books published by mainstream publishers, according to Bowker's 2009 annual data. Little empirical research exists on self-published books. This article presents the results of an investigation of a random sample of 348 books from a total population of 385,173 titles available from ninety-three fee-based publication services in 2008. Major findings include publication patterns within the nontraditional publishing industry, availability of self-published titles online and in libraries, state of bibliographic and cataloging control, and subject content of self-published books. The findings provide a baseline "snapshot" of books available from publication services in 2008, a time when the self-publishing industry was established but was still small enough to study overall. The article concludes with implications for librarians from this study of self-published books.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-140
Number of pages34
JournalLibrary Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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