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.
- 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 Amazon.com are indie self-published ebooks.
- 20% of all consumer dollars spent on ebooks on Amazon.com are being spent on indie self-published ebooks.
- 40% of all dollars earned by authors from ebooks on Amazon.com 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 Amazon.com 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.
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:
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!