Bowker’s 2009 report found that non-traditional publishers are now far surpassing the output of traditional publishing. This is nothing new, for many years the combined output of non-traditional venues like POD, republishing of public domain content, and vanity presses have surpassed the highly-structured and vetted process of major publishers.
The developing difference is described by Laura Dawson in her 2008 paper The Role of Self-Publishing in Libraries, “it’s no longer a given that large publishers are the arbiters of what books we ﬁnd useful.” The recent successes of non-traditionally published authors such as Amanda Hocking and E.L. James illustrate the point, but the dramatic output and general lack of established rating criteria make access to these titles a challenge for acquisitions librarians. The study in the paper reflected this. OCLC holdings revealed that libraries had acquired a smaller than expected percentage of non-traditionally published titles. This could be due to a lack of acquisitions pathways and structures for library lending of these publications.