BitKom: 11% of eBook Users Are Also Authors (?)

The worst and the best part about self-publishing is that it allows anyone to publish a book, and according to Bitkom a lot of people are taking advantage of that opportunity.

This German market research firm released a report on Friday which showed that eleven percent of a recent survey group who read ebooks had also self-published their own works.

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Based on a survey group  consisting of 1,300 subjects, Bitkom reported that 87% of the surveyed ebook users were familiar with the idea of self-publishing, in comparison to 52% of those who read paper books.

The opinions on self-published books were mixed, with 29% saying that the book market was larger and more diverse as a result of self-publishing, and 25% reporting that thanks to self-pub they were able to find more books which  correspond to their personal tastes.

On the other hand, 24% of respondents missed the quality control of the publishers, and 15% believed that self-publishing made it possible for too many bad books to reach the market.

And the survey also showed that 11% had self-published their own texts.

Frankly, I'm not sure I believe it. While this could be true, I share the opinion of the commenters on lesen.net that want to know more about the survey group.

That figure certainly isn't impossible, but it is also the first time that I have read a consumer survey which asked that question.

What do you think?

image by mattcornock

About Nate Hoffelder (11598 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

6 Comments on BitKom: 11% of eBook Users Are Also Authors (?)

  1. The number sounds inflated. But this is something I have been saying for a long time. The “too many writers” meme ignores the fact that people who are interested in self-publishing are likely to be terrific customers for ebooks. So the more people who get interested, the more ebook sales there will be.

    This isn’ t that different from the millions of kids who play basketball in their driveways and dream to be NBA players. They end up as bethe audience that watches basketball games and support the industry at large.

    How could it be otherwise? Surely if someone is a passionate reader, at one point or another they would have to question whether they could write something themselves. Some kind of subset, maybe a large one, will give it a try. And what’s wrong if they self-publish it and see if it gets a response?

    The more people experimenting on that level, the better the ebook market will be. Most won’t go beyond a test or two to try to make a real living publishing books regularly, but some might succeed and become motivated. That’s good too.

    All this talk about bad books is a distraction. 90% of everything is bad, as they say, the same was true about traditionally published books, and it’s true about self-publishing. But it doesn’t matter. The more books, the more great books in the 10%.

    • “This isn’ t that different from the millions of kids who play basketball in their driveways and dream to be NBA players. They end up as be the audience that watches basketball games and support the industry at large.”

      You are aware that the popularity of NBA has declined significantly, aren’t you?

      “All this talk about bad books is a distraction. 90% of everything is bad, as they say, the same was true about traditionally published books, and it’s true about self-publishing. But it doesn’t matter. The more books, the more great books in the 10%.”

      Am I really supposed to take the notion that the ratio of good to bad books is the same for traditional publishing and self-publishing seriously or was that meant as a joke? Because I got a very good laugh out of it.

      My concern is that people who are writing crap but are happy to sell a few thousand copies for a couple of bucks each are also supporting comparable crap (because this you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours may be the primary source of any sales) which does make finding quality more difficult.

      • There’s no such thing as ‘too many books.’ Google has over 4 million public domain books. Can I read them all? Of course not, but having MORE to choose from INCREASES the likelihood of finding something I want to read.

        If I go to a store that has 2 kinds of cheese, I probably won’t buy cheese there. If they have 50 kinds of cheese, I most likely will. Choice is good. Choice is healthy. I don’t understand why people argue otherwise. Are we so used to having someone make our reading choices for us?

        • Who said there are “too many books”? I said there were far more shitty self-published books than traditionally published books.

          ” Of course not, but having MORE to choose from INCREASES the likelihood of finding something I want to read.”

          Your understanding of math and probability is horrendously flawed.

          • No, not really. Do you think small libraries are better than large ones?

            Limited choices limit the likelihood of finding what you want. That should be pretty obvious to anyone who’s visited a 7-11.

            You’d only be right if search engines didn’t exist, and finding what you want were a random activity. It’s not, and hasn’t been since the invention of the card catalog.

          • No, but I haven’t yet found a single self-published book that I loved or would recommend to someone… so it’s easy to fill an Indiana Jones-sized warehouse with crap I wouldn’t want to read. No, search engine is going to make me want to read crap. And if you add more crap than quality to a search engine, yes, the odds of finding what I want to read will decrease.

            A more fundamental question is: have you run out of quality books now that you want to read? Do you foresee doing that anytime in your life?

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