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New Author Earnings Report Shows Growing Revenues for Authors

logo-ae[1]It’s been some 3 months since Hugh Howey released the first Author Earnings Report, and he’s back again today to deliver another installment.

The new report takes a one-day snapshot of the Kindle Store’s best seller lists and computes the relative number of indie, self-published, and traditionally published titles, the relative earnings for each type of author,  and so on. That’s pretty much what the first report did, only with fewer titles (~50,000). This new report pulled data for 85,000 titles from the Kindle Store’s best seller list, and it confirms what Howey told us back in February.

Self-published authors make up 38% of the titles on lists (this number includes the uncategorized single author publishers), with medium and indie publishers (43%) and the Big 5 (18%) making up most of the rest. The last 1% is Amazon.

UL-85-50[1]Self-published authors make up a slightly larger share in the new report (+2%), and the Big 5 make up a smaller share (-2%.) It’s not clear whether the self-published are making gains or that more of the bottom of the best seller list is taken up by self-published titles.

Part of the reason I am expressing doubt is that the unit sales report is virtually the same as the one from February. Self-published authors sold an estimated 36% of copies of books which made the list ( this again includes the uncategorized single author publishers as self-published).

The only difference with the earlier report on unit sales is that small and medium publishers picked up a +4% sales volume at the expense of the Big 5 and Amazon.



The report goes on to detail the gross revenue estimates (the Big 5 earn most of the money, of course) and an estimate of daily revenues to authors. You can find that information over at the Author Earnings website.

Hugh says in the report that they plan to continue to run new reports each quarter. As they get more data they hope to start seeing trends in how the market is shifting.

Do you know what I would like to see?

I think it would be useful to run a similar report on Amazon’s print book sale,. That way we would know if self-published authors are having similar success in print.

It’s a lot harder to do a POD self-pub title than to put out an ebook, so there’s a chance that self-published authors will have less of a presence in that area. Unfortunately, we won’t know until someone goes and checks. Any volunteers?

Author Earnings

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Fbone May 19, 2014 um 2:43 pm

If Mr Howey wants to see trends he needs to be consistent with the number of titles.

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