Author Earnings

Latest Author Earnings Report: ebook, print, audio

if-you-dont-build-your-dream

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The first graphic in the latest report by Author Earnings shows that in two short years, the market share of paid unit sales between indie and the “Big 5” e-books has more than inverted.
The Big 5 now account only for less than a quarter of e-book purchases on Amazon, while books by independent authors are closing in on a whopping forty-five percent.
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E-book dollars earned by Big 5 publishers also shrunk, despite the greater profitability of e-books over print books. Overall, US e-book sales have actually gone up in dollar terms.
“Data Guy” is presenting some of his methodical approach and findings in more detail onstage at the Digital Book World 2016 Conference, on March 9, 2016, in NYC.

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How Accurate are the Findings?
The “validation dataset” always end up matching the actual Amazon-reported total daily sales for the group to within 6%… and most of the time to within 2%.
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More “Full-Priced” than Discounted Books.
The share of indie self-published titles on Amazon’s bestseller lists, at 27%, has not changed since September 2015.  It is still more than double than those of the “Big 5” titles. Significantly, has changed the degree to which Amazon’s overall Top 20 Best Sellers, and even the overall Top 10, are dominated by self-published titles from indie authors — nearly half of them “full-priced” sales, at prices between $2.99 and $5.99.

Author Earnings Explains:
“On January 10, the date our spider ran,

  1. 4 of Amazon’s overall Top 10 Best Selling ebooks were self-published indie titles
  2. 10 of Amazon’s overall Top 20 Best Selling ebooks were self-published indie titles
  3. 56 of Amazon’s overall Top 100 Best Selling ebooks — more than half — were self-published indie titles
  4. 20 of Amazon’s overall Top 100 Best Selling ebooks were indie titles priced between $2.99 and $5.99

The day we pulled the data for this report revealed 20 of Amazon’s overall Top 125 Best Selling e-books were self-published indie titles NOT ENROLLED in Kindle Unlimited.”

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My advice: there is absolutely no reason
to discount or giveaway your book for free
to reach bestselling status.
Don’t devalue your titles!
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Print and Audio-Book Numbers.
Author Earnings measured not only sales of e-books, but also print and audio-books.  “As of January 2016, Amazon was selling roughly 119,000 audiobooks per day — about $2,100,000 worth — which were generating $204,000 a day in author earnings.”

“We think audiobooks will be a huge growth area for self-published indie authors in 2016.  We can’t wait to see what these audio-sales pie charts will look like, a year from now.
In 2016, the reach of indie self-published authors isn’t limited by any means to ebooks.”
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“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.”
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Read the whole report with lots of details:
http://authorearnings.com/report/february-2016-author-earnings-report/

 

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The Latests Stats About Author Earnings

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In their October findings AuthorEarnings.com gave the real numbers – which the media seems to cannot get right as their reporting on the industry almost always confuses the sales of only 1,200 traditional AAP publishers with those of the entire US e-book market!  Read more about these false numbers in a former blog.
And those 1,200 AAP publishers represent only LESS than half of the US e-book market – with their collapsing e-book sales, while everywhere else, including self-published e-books, are still growing.
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Details From the Report of AuthorEarnings.com:

  • Amazon accounts for 74% of all US ebook purchases and 71% of all US consumer dollars spent on e-books.
  • Outside of Amazon, four other major online retailers comprise nearly the entirety of the remaining 26% of the US e-book market: the Apple iBookstore, the Barnes & Noble Nook store, the Kobo US bookstore, and GooglePlay Books.  At those four other stores, self-published indie e-books make up 22% of all e-books purchases and take in 32% of all author income generated by e-book sales.
  • Between 14% and 25% of all e-books sold at Apple, Nook, and Kobo lack Bowker-issued International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs).
  • In total, more than 33% of all e-books sold in the US each year have no ISBN.
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    The true US ebook market, which includes non-ISBN sales, is at least 50% larger than ISBN-limited market statistics from Nielsen and Bowker are estimating. Their estimates are totally wrong as 37% of all e-books sold on Amazon do not use ISBNs!

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Important Online Retailers
More findings from AuthorEarnings:

  • 35 percent of traditionally published ebook sales occur outside Amazon, at online retailers such as Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo Book, Google Play, and others.
  • For independently published e-books, Amazon is the main retailer with 74% of sales, then Apple iBooks with roughly 11-12% in average, B&N with approx. 9%, Kobo with 4%, and with Google and other retailers taking up the slim rest.
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AuthorEarning writes:
“At least 28% of the total income received by authors from iBookstore sales is going to indie authors.” – I might add: even with the mostly lower prices, this fact is astonishing.
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They elaborate more on selling indie books through Apple’s iBook store: “With indies capturing well over a quarter of the author earnings generated by the iBookstore, it’s pretty safe to say that a healthy market for indie books exists at Apple.”
Apple iBook Distribution and Sales.
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Distributing to iBooks can certainly done by every independent author directly, using a Mac computer (or rent space online via Macincloud or through distributors, such as eBookPartnership, Draft2Digital or Smashwords.
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eBookPartnership
charges a small fee per year for their full program, not only for distribution to iBooks! and authors receive 100% of their revenue from online retailers, while the other middleman distributors charge the author about 15% of the net royalties commission for every book sold.
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An amazing fact is that the ebooks performing the best are the ones distributed directly by indie authors themselves — selling on average 3.5 times as many copies as those distributed by aggregators.  See the interesting graphic in the AuthorEarnings report.

The AuthorEarnings report shows all the stats through graphics for Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Google and certainly Amazon – and the debate: “Should you “go wide” and ensure that your books are available for sale across ALL the US retailers, or should you focus your business on Amazon.com and take advantage of the enhanced earnings opportunities that come with Kindle Unlimited?”
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You have the choice and the opportunities!
Let’s end with these AuthorEarnings statement: “At each of the remaining three largest e-book retailers outside of Amazon, between a fifth and a quarter of all e-books purchased each day are self-published indie books.  
And at Amazon, 34% of the e-book sales are from indie publishers, and 33% from the Big Five Publishers.  In 2014, the US e-book market consisted of roughly 514 million e-book units purchased, and just under $3 billion in consumer spending.”

Find even more details in their October report.

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also “Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.

 



Nothing New in e-Book Price Wars

MOST IMPORTANT FOR AUTHOR-PUBLISHERS:
Author Earnings Report states: Self-published authors now command more daily income from digital royalties than all the Big Five published authors combined. Why? 
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Author-Earnings.

In the lawsuit of 2009 it was already shown that the agreement the Big Five fought to win with Apple resulted in a reduction of profits per e-book sold.  Even now some publishers price their e-books much higher than others, which certainly doesn’t improve sales.  Freed from Amazon’s discounting, and with complete control over pricing, these publishers made a decision to push the price of many of their e-books above $9.99.
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The latest Author Earnings Report mentioned the massive shadow industry of ISBN-less e-books being sold, and the effect Kindle Unlimited has on title visibility.  Other findings were:

  • The average e-book price by independent authors is $3.87 – while the average price set by the Big Five publishers is $9.53 (gone up in the last two years by 17%).  Publishers are trading lower volume sales for more dollars per title.  Their higher prices aren’t just hurting readers; they haven’t been good for their authors either.  And authors seem to understand this, as many implored Amazon to continue discounting their works during negotiations with publishers last year.  Now it is impossible for Amazon to discount these books, and publishers and their authors are losing revenue as a result.
  • Self-published authors now command more daily income from digital royalties than all Big 5 published authors combined.
  • In just the last three months, Big Five publisher e-book unit sales have fallen another 18%.  Higher prices and a return to agency pricing seems to be seriously impacting sales.  And self-published authors are moving into that lost market share, with an increase in daily revenue of 12.4% since January 2015.

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Author Earnings Report concludes:
“By our data, which matches industry reports, this control has brought higher prices to consumers, lower sales for publishers, and fewer earnings for their authors.  It has also brought greater market share for self-published authors.  For authors who want control over their pricing, so they can avoid becoming casualties in wars between retailers and publishers, the choice of publication method is clear.  And it’s becoming even more clear from quarter to quarter, that self-published authors continue to win market share, and continue to take control of their careers.”

One commenter on this report: “Publishing is a weird business. Many authors are so eager to get published that they don’t negotiate things like price. You wouldn’t do this in any other business. You supply a product to a wholesaler, you want to discuss cost, manufacturing, MSRP, and the like. “Published” Authors tend to assume that publishers are going to A) Know what they’re doing and B) Do what’s best for the author.”

Why being so naive? Bestseller author Hugh Howey (Wool): “A writer’s chances of earning a living are now better by an order of magnitude than they were at any previous time in history.”

The Observer wrote in an article:
“Meanwhile, all told, more writers are producing more books and making more money than ever before. A lot of that increase has occurred outside major publishers, though.  This is also a point that Amazon has made in the past. Last summer, it gave the public a peek into its data around prices and e-book sales.”

The Amazon Books Team posted on the Kindle Forum, writing:

“For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000.”

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.



How Much Do Authors Really Earn?

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Million-Dollar-Question

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“It doesn’t help authors to say that 70% of the book market is in print if only a small fraction of that money ends up in authors’ pockets.  What we want to see is the combined effect of royalty rate, sales volume, and sale price.  These three factors combine to give us a true picture of comparative earnings, as shown in our pie charts” says Hugh Howey, founder of Author Earnings.
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A Fantastic Report About Author Earnings
He explains: “Sports stars, musicians, actors— their salaries are often discussed.  This is less true for authors, and it creates unrealistic expectations for those who pursue writing as a career.  Now with every writer needing to choose between self-publishing and submitting to traditional publishers, the decision gets even more difficult. Online Book Retailers, such as Barnes&Noble or Amazon don’t share their e-book sales figures.”
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Website for Authors, by Authors
Author Earnings, a website by authors and for authors looks at independent authors, small/medium publishers, Amazon published, Big Five published and uncategorized Single-Authors.  All the pie-charts on Author Earnings are divided into all the types of publishing.  The purpose is to gather and share information so that writers can make informed decisions.  Another mission is to call for change within the publishing community, for better pay and fairer terms in all contracts. 

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Some of the Findings

• Big-5 publishers are massively reliant on their most established authors – for 63% of their e-book revenue.
• Roughly 46% of traditional publishing’s fiction book dollars are coming from e-books.
• In absolute numbers, more self-published authors are earning a living wage today than Big-5 authors.
• Readers are interested in both: the quality of a book and the price
• Very few authors who debut with major publishers make enough money to earn a living—and modern advances don’t help.
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Publishing in Print or Digital – or Both?
Author Earnings:
“How much money is being spent on print overall and how much on Amazon’s digital storefront?  Before we got to money, we looked at actual unit sales, which came out to be 61% digital and 39% print.  That’s a total different picture, comparing versions at a retailer that sells both: ebooks and print books.”
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These, so far, nine extensive reports – chock-full with charts, explanations and publishing tips – are a valuable resource for every author.  Here is the latest from October 2014:  Author Earnings.

Another question: Why should you have a print book and not the digital version only?  In a former blog post we gave you all the reasons to offer both: e-book and print. Check these reasons if they are valid for you too.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

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Tagged: Author Central, Author Earnings, Hugh Howey, Kindle Direct Publishing, print book sales, Sales Rank Express, The 7K Report


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