skip to Main Content
Self-publishing News: 2023’s Book Figures From Around The World Shine A Light On Ongoing Trends

Self-publishing News: 2023’s Book Figures From Around the World Shine a Light on Ongoing Trends


ALLi News Editor, Dan Holloway

I love statistics. Like many indie authors, having access in real time to a whole host of data about your books is one of the most appealing parts of the process (it’s one of the reasons I love running and lifting so much as well, and spent years as a bridge player!)

There are, of course, qualifications to this love of numbers when it comes to publishing. For indies, it’s usually a case of hidden figures, with official headlines making it almost impossible to get a truly accurate sense of where things stand, or how much our increasingly substantial slice of the pie is contributing to the whole.

Nonetheless, this week saw three sets of figures, each of which comes with an interesting tale about the state of book buying. And that has to be worth reporting on.

The respective figures come from the US, Canada, and China. In the US, the latest Statshot from the Association of American Publishers, make mixed reading. The figure that drew my attention in an overall 0.2% revenue drop was a 22.9% drop in mass market paperbacks. Digital audio, meanwhile, grew by 14.9%. The most controversial figure, though, will be the year on year rise in ebook sales of 0.6%. I await Mark Williams’ comments eagerly, but to anticipate him, this is, of course, the area in which we most notice the absence of indie titles in the overall picture.

Beijing OpenBook, meanwhile, reports that China experienced a growth of 4.72% in 2023. This contrasts with years of struggling related to Covid. The thing I found really interesting in the account in Publishing Perspectives is the driving factor behind this growth. As the article puts it, this comes from “short-video e-commerce platforms.” This would be a very similar phenomenon to the growth being seen elsewhere from the likes of BookTok.

And in Canada, a BookNet Canada survey shows a large increase in visits to physical and online bookstores. The trend in actual purchases moved slightly to online over physical, though that gap remains much smaller than at the height of the pandemic.

Find Out More:

Author: Dan Holloway

Dan Holloway is a novelist, poet and spoken word artist. He is the MC of the performance arts show The New Libertines, which has appeared at festivals and fringes from Manchester to Stoke Newington. In 2010 he was the winner of the 100th episode of the international spoken prose event Literary Death Match, and earlier this year he competed at the National Poetry Slam final at the Royal Albert Hall. His latest collection, The Transparency of Sutures, is available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transparency-Sutures-Dan-Holloway-ebook/dp/B01A6YAA40


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest advice, news, ratings, tools and trends.

Back To Top
×Close search