This post originally appeared on the Author Earnings site on 1/28/15.
AuthorEarnings reports analyze detailed title-level data on 33% of all daily ebook sales in the U.S.
30% of the ebooks being purchased in the U.S. do not use ISBN numbers and are invisible to the industry’s official market surveys and reports; all the ISBN-based estimates of market share reported by Bowker, AAP, BISG, and Nielsen are wildly wrong.
33% of all paid ebook unit sales on Amazon.com are indie self-published ebooks.
20% of all consumer dollars spent on ebooks on Amazon.com are being spent on indie self-published ebooks.
40% of all dollars earned by authors from ebooks on Amazon.com are earned by indie self-published ebooks.
In mid-year 2014, indie-published authors as a cohort began taking home the lion’s share (40%) of all ebook author earnings generated on Amazon.com while authors published by all of the Big Five publishers combined slipped into second place at 35%.
U.S. ebook sales have plateaued — or are even declining, relative to print — declare some widely-cited industry statistics. Publishing pundits opine that readers’ Kindles are all “full” now, and talk about the “glut” of ebooks. News articles imply that consumers are abandoning ebooks and are returning to print books, and then those articles speculate about whether ebooks were “just a fad.” Other pundits assert that indie authors will no longer be able to compete with the Big Five traditional publishers, now that those publishers have begun to price some of their ebooks lower.
Lots of speculation. Lots of flawed studies based on 2008 methodologies. Lots of inaccurate statistics. And very few facts.
As always, we turn to the data for real answers.