googlead166c37c697d4d3.html Glenn Ashton Author Blog: Published your own books? Then you must read this ….


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Published your own books? Then you must read this ….

Not that much information out there in the market place about who earns what in the world of publishing, once you move away from the traditional publishers and their stables of “safe” already-published authors.

But now there is a site that gives us real facts, in real time, about who sells and earns what in the big wide world of publishing.

This website should be bookmarked by every author and each author should complete the surveys to help the Indie community have a body of good information.

The site is AuthorEarnings and is found here. The describe themselves this way:

Welcome to AuthorEarnings, where our purpose is to gather and share information so that writers can make informed decisions. Our secondary mission is to call for change within the publishing community for better pay and fairer terms in all contracts. This is a website by authors and for authors.

Dive through their published surveys from past years, and put your name down on their email list to get future surveys (after completing the author survey as well!).

Here are a few snippets to pique your curiosity:

From their January 2015 report (my red fonts):

Executive Summary

  • AuthorEarnings reports analyze detailed title-level data on 33% of all daily ebook sales in the U.S.
  • 30% of the ebooks being purchased in the U.S. do not use ISBN numbers and are invisible to the industry’s official market surveys and reports; all the ISBN-based estimates of market share reported by Bowker, AAP, BISG, and Nielsen are wildly wrong.
  • 33% of all paid ebook unit sales on are indie self-published ebooks.
  • 20% of all consumer dollars spent on ebooks on are being spent on indie self-published ebooks.
  • 40% of all dollars earned by authors from ebooks on are earned by indie self-published ebooks.

In mid-year 2014, indie-published authors as a cohort began taking home the lion’s share (40%) of all ebook author earnings generated on while authors published by all of the Big Five publishers combined slipped into second place at 35%.

Their 2015 report deals with the top-sellers:
This is our fifth quarterly Author Earnings report. It is based on a data snapshot of 120,000 of the best selling ebooks on Amazon, giving us a deep cross-sectional data sample comprising roughly 50% of Amazon’s daily ebook sales. According to the publishing industry’s most oft-cited estimate, Amazon controls 67% of the U.S. ebook market. Thus the title-level data used in our analysis includes roughly 33% of all daily ebook sales in the U.S. No other industry survey or ebook market-size estimate comes close to this level of accuracy or detail.
They talk about the Big Five published, made up of:

 Big Five Published (the imprints of Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster)

Now note that Indie published with single-author published earned around one quarter of the revenues, compared to the share of the Big Five Published, as this chart shows:

And as for daily sales of books, at least one-third of books sold each day on Amazon come from indie sales, as this chart shows (and they earn about 20% of all dollar sales, as well):

And now, what about average daily books sold and daily earnings of the top Indie authors? Here’s the dope – between 20 and 40 books a day for the top 4,000 Indie authors, who earned between $50 and $70 a day, depending on whether they used ISBNs (that’s between $18,000 and $25,000 a year), as this chart shows:

So there’s hope for Indie self-publishers, IF they can make their way up into the stratosphere of best-sellers.
A big IF.

The vast majority of the nearly 3 million Amazon and Kindle books will not make money for their authors. Most will sink without trace, unknown, unloved, unread, with just their ghosts lingering in the cyberspace cemetery that is Kindle and Amazon.

So your challenge is simple: How do you get yourself and your books noticed, so that readers will buy your books and you will earn something for all your hard work?

That won’t happen just by chance.

You can choose: carry on doing what you are doing, with the same results you are now getting, or maximize your chances of success by drawing up your own promotion plan and setting about carrying it out.

If you decide to be the master of your own fate, may the gods of writing be on your side!

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