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1-in-10 e-tomes 'are self-published'... most are 'rubbish' says book ed

Publishing man scoffs at go-it-alone writers, ursines still fouling in forests

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Self-published ebooks now account for 12 per cent of the entire digital book market, according to new research, and also have up to a fifth of the genre fiction market.

A full 20 per cent of crime, romance, sci-fi, fantasy and humour ebooks sold are self-published, although authors who go it alone in graphic novels, food and drink and children’s non-fiction ebooks are only nabbing five per cent of the sales, Bowker Market Research found.

In adult and general non-fiction ebooks, self-published tomes take a 14 per cent share of the market, Steve Bohme, UK research director at Bowker, said at the Writing in a Digital Age conference according to The Guardian.

However, not everyone at the conference thought that self-published missives were good for the market. Andrew Franklin, managing editor of Profile Books, said the vast majority of them were “unutterable rubbish”.

“They don’t enhance anything in the world,” he told the conference.

He claimed that most self-published books were hardly noticed by consumers, but every author who gave it a bash thought they'd be the one to strike it rich.

Not surprisingly, Franklin also said that there was a need for publishers in the digital market.

"I was very shocked to learn you can buy Facebook friends and likes on social media. That is what passes for affirmation in what I think is the deeply corrupt world of self-publishing," he said. "I think there is a process of the professional making of books which does make a real difference to the reader and the writer." ®

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