Interesting times, interesting results. After two and half years of constant growth, this time we see the first contraction for indie market share. Trad Pub’s big five showed a very slight gain in unit sales, but most of the market share went to Amazon’s own publishing arm, and a smaller amount to uncategorized single-author publishers (mostly indies).
On gross revenues, most of the lost market share went to small and medium publishers, with a smaller amount to amazon Pub.
Having the what, we’re left to speculate on the why, and how. Causes may include, but are not limited to: Amazon’s Kindle first program, pushing their own new releases; Bookbub’s increasing percentage of big and medium press slots as opposed to indies (and increased price raising the barrier to the fewer slots left); Amazon’s new promoted/sponsored search ads; consolidation of indies into small pubs; the stars being in the right configuration for C’thulu to rise from dead R’lyeh; other factors unknown at this time.
From a personal perspective, we put out the last book with a small publisher. After negotiating on contract terms, I have to say I was very pleased both with the contract, and their abiding by it. It’s been a relief to have someone else handle the formatting, cover art, even the back end on creating an audiobook edition, while Peter and I were concentrating on surgical clearances, surgery, and recovery. Brings The Lightning has done very well for a western – while not selling as well as his popular military scifi, it has done a lot better than we expected for a genre that’s been declared “dead” for years. There will be more!
How has your summer and fall gone, for sales and discoverability? What have you found that’s helped, or hurt, or simply changed?