In the "old" days, vanity publishers would help you produce your own book at high prices. Because traditional book printers applied technology that mandated longer runs, new services were established that harnessed the power of the Internet and POD technology. Now blurb.com, lulu.com, cpibooks.com and xlibris.com are just a few of the more than 40 online POD book production services.
There is also the Xerox Espresso Book Machine that prints and binds books literally while you wait. I was in a bookstore near Harvard University and the machine was running non-stop as people were buying books that were not on the store's shelves. It was also interesting that some brought memory sticks with their own books to print. Could this be the future of the bookstore: some books on shelves and all others printed on order?
As individuals become their own publishers, the range of content has grown:
● Memory books: birthdays, weddings, vacations, graduations, religious events, reunions, parties of all kinds
● Self-published: poetry, novels, cookbooks, manuals, children's drawings, collections of creative writing
● Presentations: sales meetings, conferences, proposals
● Educational: course materials
● Art books: work by artists, photographers, sculptors, and ceramic and glass artists
●Out-of-print: Scanned books, ephemera, periodicals
As a result, the volume of books lost to ebooks has been mostly made up with a "gazillion" one-off "Me books." Tracking this market is still a challenge because there is no standardized reporting and most data is based on estimates.
The POD services offer support for layout and production, and also help with ISBN and sales links for those books that will be sold. But I would say that most Me books are for personal use and shared among a small group of people. Unlike a website, or a Facebook or Instagram post, the book is always there, always accessible, and stands on a shelf broadcasting its existence. That book will also transcend time and technology as it is passed from generation to generation.