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Author Earnings Reports


Hugh Howey has made a fortune with his self-published ebooks. And he has become a voice for indie authors.

Now he has pulled together a report on sales, earnings and much more for indies and traditionally published authors. This is using brand new information collected by a new spider program. And the results are eye-opening and stunning.

But read yourself:

]Author Earnings - The Report

Study this. And then start writing! emoticon

Last edited by Firlefanz, 1/30/2015, 10:24 am


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Re: This Report is a MUST READ


They added another version, this time with a HUGE amount of books they analysed. A bigger group makes for better statistcs, so revisit and get your indie dream fix.

]The 50k Report

And then ... go back to writing. emoticon

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Re: This Report is a MUST READ


Here's the July update. And it is breathtaking.

Indie authors are moving ahead. Some genres are clearly good for indies - but they are surging in all genres.

Check it out here: ]July 2014 Author Earnings Report

There is no better time to self-publish than NOW.

  emoticon

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Re: Author Earnings Reports


I missed one update in between, it seems.

Well, here they are, and they are more exciting than ever.

]October 2014 Author Earnings Report

And this one is a must-read again, because at the end, it explains why press releases by traditional publishers and those who represent them are so far off the mark: There is a 30% shadow industry of indie books published without an ISBN, which the traditional data sources cannot see.

Go and read it.

] January 2015 Author Earnings Report

And rejoice that indie publishing has become so easy. emoticon

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Re: Author Earnings Reports


I love that the world of publishing has changed so much. And I'm thankful to be a writer at a time like this. emoticon

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Re: Author Earnings Reports


Yes, there's no better time to be an idie author!

Well, I can imagine more improvements, but it's really about opportunity now, and no longer a lottery to get published. Now, it's a bit of a lottery to get noticed...

 emoticon

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Re: Author Earnings Reports


It was always a lottery to get noticed. Even back during 100% trad publishing. Thousands of books were published each year that nobody ever heard about. Now we only have to win one lottery instead of two.

Last edited by Syrakynn, 3/2/2015, 4:48 am


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Re: Author Earnings Reports


And we can influence the odds. emoticon

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Re: Author Earnings Reports


The new report is in, and it shows the effects of publishers forcing Amazon to accept their prices for ebooks:

Publisher are quite visibly selling less ebooks. (Which means their press releases are correct, but they are also not seeing the full picture.)

And indie authors are taking up the slack, selling more than ever. They are taking 40% of all earnings on Amazon now.

I love being an indie author! emoticon

]May 2015 Author Earnings Report

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Re: Author Earnings Reports


Thanks for bringing us all this info, Firle!

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Re: Author Earnings Reports


The latest Author Earnings Report is out. And it's utterly fascinating - the publishing industry has been turned upside down. Here are some results:

quote:

In the 18 months between February 2014 and September 2015, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), whose 1200 members include the “Big Five”: Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette — have seen their collective share of the US ebook market collapse:

  - from 45% of all Kindle books sold down to 32%
  - from 64% of Kindle publisher gross $ revenue down to 50%
  - from 48% of all Kindle author net $ earnings down to 32%

The AAP releases monthly StatShot reports on the total dollar sales of their 1200 participating publishers, of which the “Big Five” collectively account for roughly 80%.
So far in 2015, the AAP’s reports have charted a progressive decline in both ebook sales and overall revenue for the AAP’s member publishers.

During that same period in 2015, Amazon’s overall ebook sales have continued to grow in both unit and dollar terms, fueled by a strong shift in consumer ebook purchasing behavior away from traditionally-published ebooks and toward indie-published- and Amazon-imprint-published ebooks.

These “non-traditionally-published” books now make up nearly 60% of all Kindle ebooks purchased in the US, and take in 40% of all consumer dollars spent on those ebooks.
The AAP is still reporting on May 2015 right now; they haven’t seen the latest 5% drop in their collective market share, measured by Author Earnings in early September 2015 (after Penguin Random House’s return to agency pricing).

Is the broader US ebook market shrinking or growing? Let’s find out.



]September 2015 Author Earnings Report

I think it's very encouraging for indie authors - IF you pay attention to quality, make sure you polish your book, and publish often enough to reach readers consistently.

Great times to be an author!

Last edited by Firlefanz, 9/15/2015, 8:08 am


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Re: Author Earnings Reports


Author Earnings have done something new. Something stunning.

They created a longitudinal look from their data.

And indie authors are doing really, really well. They use very conservative data (only counting earnings from ebooks that make the best 100 lists, and demanding a high average to weed out "one-hit-wonders".

Some results:
quote:

Far more indies earning a consistent six figures a year or more from just their Kindle best sellers than traditionally published authors who debuted anytime in the past decade and are able to do the same.

240+ indie authors who are consistently earning $100,000/year or more from just their Kindle best sellers.

85+ indie authors who are consistently earning $250,000/year or more from just their Kindle best sellers.

40+ indie authors who are consistently earning $500,000/year or more from just their Kindle best sellers.



]Read it all here.

And there might be quite a few more authors in those categories because their books are bringing in a lot of money even while NOT making those Amazon bestseller lists, which were not counted in this analysis.

Yes, it's still a long shot. Yes, it's still hard to get visible, and it takes work to create a fan base and consistent sales.

But look at this:
quote:

13 out of the 20 authors who debuted in the last five years, and 8 of the 10 authors who debuted in the last 3 years, and who are now consistently earning $1,000,000+/year from just their Kindle ebook best sellers are indie authors.



It is DOABLE! Go INDIE! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Last edited by Firlefanz, 9/24/2015, 8:56 am


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Re: Author Earnings Reports


They keep analysing data, with very interesting results. This time around, they chose to look at the other ebook sellers aside from Amazon, just to see how the industry is working there.

Well.

Even though those other sellers only make up a quarter of the whole cake, the distribution of indie authors / trad publishers and others very much mirrors Amazon.

And in each of those sellers, indie authors walk home with a substantial part of the earnings (~40%). Trad publishers only take ~34%. Imagine that.

That means the market is wide open for indie authors. Readers don't care. They buy what they want, whether it has an ISBN or not.

And that lack of ISBNs in the ebook industry is misleading the market analysis trad publishers use. They are unable to see the indie segment aka the "shadow industry".

Fascinating data. Read it all here:
]October 2015 – Apple, B&N, Kobo, and Google: a look at the rest of the ebook market

It's a must read for all authors these days. emoticon

Last edited by Firlefanz, 10/12/2015, 8:49 am


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Re: Author Earnings Reports


There is a new Author Earnings Report out - and it's looking at Amazon UK.

And this is the main reason why I write in English:

quote:

Up until now, Author Earnings has focused on the US ebook market, and mostly on [sign in to see URL], the dominant US retailer. There’s a reason for that. According to the International Publishers Association, the United States makes up 30% of the global book publishing market. In other words, $3 out of every $10 (or perhaps more appropriately, £3 out of every £10) spent on books of any format anywhere in the world, is spent in the US. And more than half of that $3 is spent online — two thirds of it in [sign in to see URL]’s US bookstore — where, notably, for the last several years, most of the books purchased have been ebooks.

[...]

But when it comes to digital book adoption rates, most of those countries significantly lag the United States, for a variety of reasons. As a result, the US now makes up a far larger portion of the world’s digital book market than print — well over half of it, in fact.

[...]

Which makes the United Kingdom currently the world’s second largest market for digital books.

[...]

Although the UK ebook market is less than a fifth of the size of the US market in unit sales or revenue terms — [sign in to see URL] still sells more ebooks than any of the non-Amazon US retailers do in the US.

[...]

Simply put, [sign in to see URL] is the second largest retailer of English-language ebooks in the world.



I think that's quite fascinating and truly puts things into perspective. And through Amazon, I can have my books available in the US, the UK, Germany, and in so many other countries. emoticon

Read much, much more ]here.

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Re: Author Earnings Reports


And they did it again. They looked at the data from January 10th, and did their statistics magic on it.

Here are some important quotes:

quote:

In two short years, the market share of paid unit sales between indie and Big 5 ebooks has more than inverted. The Big 5 now account for less than a quarter of ebook purchases on Amazon, while indies are closing in on 45%.



quote:

The most important graph for authors shows the rapidly diverging rate of ebook author income by publishing path. The Big 5 publishers are now providing less than a quarter of the dollars earned by creatives for their ebook sales. Indies are taking close to half.



quote:

In 2016, the reach of indie self-published authors isn’t limited by any means to ebooks. Every indie author should seriously consider releasing print-on-demand paperback editions and — as soon as quality narration can be afforded or arranged — audiobook editions of their books.



Much, much more, including hard data on print and audiobooks, at their website: ]February 2016 Author Earnings Report: Amazon’s Ebook, Print, and Audio Sales

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Re: Author Earnings Reports


They published a new report, and the results are utterly, utterly stunning.

quote:

[...]the Big Five’s loss of market-share in gross consumer dollar terms — and, more importantly, the ongoing decline in Big Five authors’ ebook earnings — have both continued relatively unabated.



So things are not looking good for trad authors. If you plan on publishing books, self-publishing might be the better option.

quote:

More than 50% of all traditionally-published book sales of any format in the US now happen on [sign in to see URL].

That’s just the traditionally published books, though.

In addition, roughly 85% of all non-traditionally published book sales of any format in the US also happen on [sign in to see URL].



Best reason to sell through Amazon.

quote:

Fewer than 700 Big Five authors and fewer than 500 small-or-medium publisher authors who debuted in the last 10 years are now earning $25,000 a year or more on Amazon — from all of their hardcover, paperback, audio and ebook editions combined. By contrast, over 1,600 indie authors are currently earning that much or more.



Once again, the numbers point towards self-publishing if you want to reach this kind of income with your books.

There are many, many more gems hidden in the article. Go and read for yourself - and rejoice that authors do have such awesome options these days:

]Author Earnings Report May 2016

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There is a new Author Earnings report, and it has a shock for indie authors:

quote:

After two and a half years of quarter-over-quarter growth, Indie eBook market share shrinks significantly.



And it isn't clear why.

It could be a change in Amazon algorithms affecting visibility (it's what I'm leaning towards). The change is so huge and happened in such a short time that it's unlikely reader habits changed.

But we'll have to wait for more data before we can know...

Read the entire report here:

]Author Earnings Report October 2016

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