It’s damn difficult to get numbers on what percentage of romance novels are self-published or traditionally published. One site, looking at Kindle sales only, posits these numbers:
Small/medium publishers: 11%
Big 5/Harlequin: 30%
Whether these numbers are exact or not, it’s clear self-publishing is HUGE and that the days when traditional publishers dominated are long gone. (Although most library purchases still skew to traditionally published work.) What’s less clear is what that’s meant for romance readers.
Over the past year we’ve given many a DIK to self-pubbed books–obviously there are many fabulous authors eschewing, at least some of the time, traditional publishing. That said, we hear from readers that there are also a boatload of self-pubbed books that are error-ridden and plot-thin. We suspect that, like most everything in life, self-publishing has its highs and its lows. Just like traditional publishing. (We really do not have a favorite here!)
What has your experience been? Do you read mostly self-pubbed novels, mostly traditionally pubbed stories, or a combination of the two? How do you think self-publishing has changed romance reading?