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  1. scifiwriter

    scifiwriter Member

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    Authorearnings.com

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by scifiwriter, Feb 12, 2014.

    http://authorearnings.com/the-report/

    Excerpt:

    It’s no great secret that the world of publishing is changing. What is a secret is how much. Is it changing a lot? Has most of the change already happened? What does the future look like?

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    The graphs are most interesting in my opinion.

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  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    It is interesting data, no doubt about it. You have to remember this all comes through Amazon (which is a major player, but not the only one of course). On the positive side, it's not self-reporting data, which some people have a problem with.

    I don't find it too surprising, overall. There have been other reports that kind of point in this direction on Amazon, including some of their own statements and reports by authors publishing there.
     
  3. scifiwriter

    scifiwriter Member

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    Barnes and Noble ebook sales might be similar too (to a lesser extent compare to Amazon ebook sales). 25% of ebooks sold on Nook are self-published. (April 2013).

    http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/press_releases/04_09_13_nook_press_release.html

    *Customer demand for great independent content continues to dramatically increase as 30% of NOOK customers purchase self-published content each month, representing 25% of NOOK Book™ sales every month.



    I think the USA ebook market is something like this

    Amazon: 60 - 65%
    B&N: 17 - 22%
    the rest (Kobo, Apple, Google etc...): 15 - 20%
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    It is clear that things are changing, and that self-publishing is a viable route for someone who wants to make a living as a writer (cue anti-self-publishing trolls...).

    For the average person who is writing, I think if you want to make anywhere from a little to a decent amount of money writing, your chances are probably better self-publishing at this point (the data linked supports that, though as I said it looks at one marketplace, so you have to consider that there are many more).

    On the other hand, if you want to have out-of-the-park fame like Stephen King or Stephanie Meyer, you're more likely to attain it via the traditional route.

    Jim Hines recently said something in his blog, which I'll paraphrase:

    1. There are authors making a lot of money in traditional publishing
    2. There are authors making a lot of money in self-publishing
    3. There are many people in either category 1 or 2
    4. Writing is hard work

    In other words, you can't treat self-pub as a shortcut any more than you can treat traditional publishing that way.

    But yeah, on average, if you consider the pool of aspiring writers, the people in that pool are more likely to earn more from their writing pursing the self-publishing route than the traditional one.
     
  5. scifiwriter

    scifiwriter Member

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    in my opinion, these are the steps to become successful

    1) GREAT BOOK. If the book sucks, no amount of marketing, editing will make it sell
    2) IN A POPULAR GENRE.
    3) GREAT COVER. A great book but a very poor cover will make it very difficult to sell.
    4) SOME MARKETING to get the words out. Even a great book with a great cover in a popular genre need a little push to get the ball rolling.
     
  6. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    So are those the ones who really do hate SP, the ones whose opinions differ from yours, or just the ones who just think facts are nice? I'm never really sure any more.
     
  7. Edward M. Grant

    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    One interesting element is that Amazon-published books make about two thirds as much money as self-published books, but with less than half the sales, and trade-published books make about 50% more than self-published books, with a similar level of sales. The question, I guess, is whether those self-published books are selling largely because they're cheap, or whether they're underpriced and could be making more money at higher prices.
     
    Andrae Smith likes this.
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    It was basically your cue, which I am glad you recognized.
     
  9. NigeTheHat

    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm guessing 'cheap' helps a lot. When I haven't had a specific recommendation, new authors tend to be impulse buys for me, especially on Amazon where it's harder to look through the book or fall in love with a pretty hardback. If I'm familiar with the author, I'm willing to pay a lot more.

    This is going to be different for everyone, but my impulse-buy threshold seems to peter out at about £0.99. Beyond that, I can definitely be sold - usually by a sufficiently interesting blurb and a lack of crap reviews - but it takes rather more effort.
     
  10. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, really, the "here come the trolls" comments are definitely a cue - has to be a self-publishing thread and inevitably comes from a certain set of people - ironic, eh? But, as I said, I'm still trying to figure out which ones you consider trolls, as in the past it's gotten to be almost a universal accusation toward any of the three groups I mentioned.
     
  11. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Amazon is big in factoring in total sales, but it's only part of the picture. Several established big five published authors I know, sell okay on Amazon, but their main source of royalties are via print--think independent bookstores, Barnes & Noble, and other outlets such as Meijer or Wal-Mart. Those outlets are where the majority of their sales are. While it's a shrinking portion in the entire sales arena, it's still significant, and one where self-published authors are virtually non-existent.

    That's not to say that what are termed Indie Authors, those who self-publish, can't do well, but when comparing reaching readers, and income, such things as access to all markets/avenues should be considered.
     
  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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  13. scifiwriter

    scifiwriter Member

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  14. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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  15. scifiwriter

    scifiwriter Member

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    What's the big deal? He self-publishes 4 of his major novels in the United States and his Author Earnings data/pie chart is from Amazon US and Barnes and Noble US. How is that hypocritical?
     
  16. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I didn't say it was hypocritical, did I? I do think, after all the big to do about his self-publishing research, people should be aware that he signed a trade contract anyway (for both print and digital).
     
  17. Edward M. Grant

    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    For the UK. Which is not an insignificant market, but much smaller than the US, and a couple of years behind in ebook takeup.

    I don't believe Hugh has ever said everyone must self-publish their books, just that they should be aware of the costs and benefits on both sides. In this case, I'm guessing he'll make more money from print sales in book stores than he'll lose on ebook royalties.

    I'd also add that probably 99% of self-published writers would take a print-only trade publishing deal, like some of the others he's signed. That makes sense for pretty much anyone, so long as the contract is OK.
     
  18. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    The publisher is in the UK, but I believe that doesn't preclude sales in the US and other countries, correct?

    And I have no doubt that most SPs would take a print-only deal with a trade publisher. In this case, HH did not take that option but went full-out, print and digital. Considering his high advocacy of SP, I found the whole thing... interesting.
     
  19. Edward M. Grant

    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    If I remember correctly, he has deals with other publishers outside the UK. At least for print rights.

    If I remember correctly, he said they wouldn't do a print-only deal. I know he took a while to find a publisher who would do such a deal before. Didn't the same publisher handle his previous book as both ebook and print in the UK?
     

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