Traditional publishers released fewer books in 2008 than in 2007 — 275,232 new books, a drop of 3.2 percent. However, on-demand publishers, the route many writers take to self-publish, released an astounding 132 percent more — 285,394 in 2008.
Self-publishing used to be derided as "vanity publishing." No longer. Self-published books finally are getting more respect, thanks to two things — belt-tightening in the publishing industry and technology that makes it easier to publish and promote books electronically.
--- Kelly Jane Torrance. Self-publishing finds commercial niche in digital age // The Washington Times, 22.05.2009