World, Writing, Wealth discussion

All Things Writing & Publishing > Romance: Indie titles steady earners vs. big 5

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Alex (last edited Oct 18, 2016 10:47PM) (new)

Alex (asato) Did you know that, on average, big 5 publisher romance title earnings "drop off very rapidly, their sales plummeting within 1 -2 months of launch"; whereas indie titles maintain higher earnings for longer? How could this happen when the big 5 have much bigger marketing budgets?

Did you know that, on average, "per-title earnings only double (2x) for authors who publish quarterly versus those who publish annually?" That is, this is the biggest jump in earnings per title and if a writer churns out more than 4-6 books a year, then their per-title earnings don't jump up as much or even runs flat for a while. What this points out is that even though every book that an author has out there is earning money, publishing more than 4-6 books annually isn't going to increase the sales of every book in an author's backlist.

Did you know that the highest per-page romance title lengths are:

* Non-KU: 301-400pp & 101-150pp
* KU: 401-500pp & 201-250pp

For more info, see:

As these are only averages, ymmv.

With the raw data (available on author, the same kind of analysis could be performed for any genre. I'm planning on doing this kind of analysis for sci-fi and horror. I will also analyze the $50k+ earners.

Note: All statistics apply to the romance genre only.

message 2: by Zee (new)

Zee Monodee (zee_monodee) | 0 comments My take on indies making more is that they're in for the long haul. Publishers always have new books coming out, so they push at release then huff a little, then puff out, to start it all over again on new releases, the 'old' one forgotten. Authors with publishers can get complacent and not pursue promo like indies do - they may also have their hands tied. For example, and indie can go for price promotions anytime because the control is in their hands. Not so with a publisher book - they might not be willing to lower the price for a certain time, and then too, who will take care of that at the publisher? Most of them are understaffed as it is even for editing alone, so ongoing promo? Forget it.
Publishers are also stuck in the marketing loop of new release-push and they haven't really come put of it. It's like Harlequin category books. They come out one month, available maybe a month later, then disappear. That was always the case with print runs. You might say ebooks make it more available today, but the focus is not on pushing backlist and/or older books in a line, but always on the new, upcoming releases.

message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14926 comments Alex G wrote: "How could this happen when the big 5 have much bigger marketing budgets?..."

Don't know whether it applies to all publishers, but I hear they allocate a budget for a launch and some time after in the hope that the book gains traction and then it's pretty much it.

message 4: by M.L. (new)

M.L. I think it makes sense, the big 5 would not want to flood the market. I wonder how many 'indie' titles though are by authors who are also big 5.

message 5: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Cunegan (jdcunegan) | 62 comments I keep half-joking that some day, I'll write a romance to pay the bills. But if my heart's not in it, then the book won't be very good -- and readers can sense that sort of thing.

So, as pitiful as my sales are, I'll stick with my genres.

back to top