Self-publishing 'wonderful phenomenon'

2012 was a record year for the UK publishing industry, according to newly released figures from The Publishers Association Statistics Yearbook.

Total revenues of £3.34 billion were the highest ever recorded. Digital sales (ebooks and audiobooks) were up 66% to £411 million, while sales of physical books fell less than expected - by 1% to £2.9 billion.

Richard Mollett, chief executive of The Publishers Association, told the Today programme: "It seems that even in the context of tough economic conditions publishing remains very strongly competitive both in the analogue physical world and in the digital.

"Self-publishing has been a wonderful phenomenon. It has thrown up a great new interest in writing and reading.

"We are concerned that independent bookshops are finding it tough and everybody wants there to be a range of ways of getting books, both online and on the high street."

First broadcast on the Today programme on Wednesday 1 May.