World, Writing, Wealth discussion

15 views
All Things Writing & Publishing > The Reality of the Ebook Publishing Landscape

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Alex (last edited Jul 23, 2016 08:42PM) (new)

Alex (asato) (I thought that I'd summarize my findings. I was inspired by another thread in the SIA group: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...).

Do you want to know how many writers are making how much? Do you want to know how many writers are on Amazon and how many titles are on Amazon?

I haven't published a single story yet, so don't believe me--instead, believe Hugh Howey, a successful ebook author, who turned down 7-digits from traditional publishers in 2012 to keep self-publishing his books.

In 2014, he initiated a project to compile ebook Amazon sales data and now in May 2016, they've crunched 1 million Amazon ebook titles (which also included 900,000 top-selling print titles and 67,000 top-selling audiobook titles), which is about 82% of all daily Amazon Kindle ebook sales.

Note: While Amazon is not the only ebook distributor, it holds the majority market share at 71% of all US consumer dollars spent on ebooks as of October 2015.

So, how many ebook titles and authors are there on Amazon? According to the May 2016 Authorearnings report in the "So, what lies hidden in the invisible “dark matter” of ebook sales?" section:

ebook titles = ~3,230,820
authors = ~884,344

So how many authors are making how much?

Authors who make $X a year or more from their Amazon US sales alone:

$10,000+ = ~9,900
$25,000+ = ~4,600
$50,000+ = ~2,500
$100,000+ = ~1,340

Note: You can also run your own analyses by downloading the raw data files.

The report itself has so much useful data--even breakdowns by the largest genres--that it is well worth reading for yourself.


message 2: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15677 comments Thanks a lot, Alex, for bringing the data.
I know I'm somewhere among the 800+K authors and my books in those 3 mil, but I'm nowhere on top sales charts -:(


message 3: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments Thanks, Alex. I'm encouraged. The figures offer real achievable targets. If they can do it why they hell can't we...


message 4: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15677 comments That's the spirit!


T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) (t_k_elliott) It's also important to remember, I think, that where you come in the rankings is not just down to chance. If you look at a lot of the "tail end", you see amateurish covers and bad blurbs on many of them.

So, throwing your book together in five minutes (or having it look as if that's what you did) is a good way to make sure you languish in the tail end. On the other hand, a good cover and blurb will go some way towards lifting you up. It's not all you need by a long way, but it's a useful start.

Other people to believe, beyond Hugh Howey, are:
* Joanna Penn
* Kristine Kathryn Rusch
* Mark Dawson

These three are not the only big indie sellers, by any means, but they are all willing to talk about how they did it!


message 6: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15677 comments Thanks for new leads, Tiffany!
Alex will likely return with some summary of his findings.
Yeah, sometimes it's easier to explain why not than fully understand why yes.


message 7: by Alex (last edited Jul 24, 2016 01:52PM) (new)

Alex (asato) T. K. Elliott wrote: "It's also important to remember, I think, that where you come in the rankings is not just down to chance. If you look at a lot of the "tail end", you see amateurish covers and bad blurbs on many of... Other people to believe, beyond Hugh Howey, are:
* Joanna Penn
* Kristine Kathryn Rusch
* Mark Dawson

These three are not the only big indie sellers, by any means, but they are all willing to talk about how they did it!"


i will check them out. thx!

good points that it isn't through only luck--or even mainly through luck or even with any luck at all (actually, i think that you don't have to have luck to be in this income-generating league)--that these 9,900 authors are making $10,000+

now that i've outlined the true state of the publishing market w/real, significant data, i'm starting some new research on "how to do it". my new post, "The Reality of the Ebook Publishing Landscape," is the beginning.

Nik wrote: "Thanks for new leads, Tiffany!
Alex will likely return with some summary of his findings.
Yeah, sometimes it's easier to explain why not than fully understand why yes."


this is pretty much my final post of this topic. the authorearnings.com report is more than worthwhile reading.

having said that, i might run the data set on a few genres of interest later this year.


back to top