These sales represent but a tithe of Neilsen's estimates for the overall UK ebook market (even in a year when print sales are down 10%), but they also account for a noticeable share of the £300 million that was spent on ebooks in the UK last year.
With book purchasing as a whole down 4% last year, the UK ebook market grew by 20%, or an estimated £50 million. Self-published ebooks accounted for around £26 million of that £50 million. In other words, indie authors are responsible for just over half of the growth in the UK ebook market in 2013.
From The Guardian:
According to the new statistics, self-published ebooks tend to be fiction, but they are growing fastest in children's, and self-published ebooks tend to be bought by women: 37% of purchases were by females older than 45, 32% by younger women – this was the fastest-growing area – 20% by males older than 45, and 11% by younger males.
Self-published ebooks still only account for a tiny proportion of the overall market (5% of the 323 million units bought, and 3% of the £2.2 billion spent on books last year in the UK) but I would say that the relative size is less important than the point that self-published ebooks are still growing at a prodigious rate.
A 79% growth rate? Not counting the 2012 Hunger Games bubble, the US market hasn't seen growth like that since 2011.
It's a shame that there's no similar public data on self-published ebooks in the US market; would anyone care to guess whether that data will show a similar growth rate in the US?
image by robbophotos