New Author Earnings Report Out!

February 2017 Big, Bad, Wide & International Report: covering Amazon, Apple, B&N, and Kobo ebook sales in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

While this can’t answer the question individually on whether you should go wide or go KDP Select, it’ll give you the best picture of what the market is doing. That way you can make an informed decision.

Also, a lot of people missed the last “not-a-report” report they put up, with the slides from the Digital Book World 2017 conference. If you haven’t seen that yet, you’ll want to: it’s pretty eye-opening on how much of the print sales have moved online.

Print vs Digital, Traditional vs Non-Traditional, Bookstore vs Online: 2016 Trade Publishing by the numbers

That one has some pretty fascinating numbers, including breakdowns that show some smaller genres lumped in the large “trad pub is still dominating” are actually far and away fast-growth for indies.

Go read!

13 Comments

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13 responses to “New Author Earnings Report Out!

  1. Most important conclusion, I think: Spread your bets. If you are all Kindle Select, what do you do if Amazon (a perpetual money loser) goes broke.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      “perpetual money loser”?

      Where’s that idea come from and what’s the evidence?

      On the other hand, I’ve heard that Amazon doesn’t pay dividends to people who own their stock because Amazon management reinvests their profits back into Amazon operations.

    • If Amazon goes broke, the whole Indy ecology goes down with it. For a while. Then other sites will pick up, and a new winner will emerge.

      According to DataGuy, there’s no clear guidance on all-Amazon or going wide. Advantage of diversification vs. disadvantage of multiple payers to keep sorted out.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Last I heard, probably over a year ago, DataGuy hadn’t drilled down to specific genres where there might be clearer answers.

        • Right now, I’m figuring that once I get A Separate War rewritten and ready to go up as a proper e-book, I’ll go wide with it, since to be on KDP select I’d have to unpublish the version I wrote as a serial on JukePop, and I’m not sure I want to erase its existence. By going wide with it, I can see whether and how sales for it differ from sales for my Amazon-only e-books.

      • What’s Amazon’s policy on what happens to your rights if they go down, become insolvent, etc.? I guess what I’m asking is, do your publication rights revert back to you under those circumstances, and after how long? Probably not a concern for those who aren’t Amazon-exclusive, but for those that are, I’m wondering if anyone has looked into it.

        • Tom

          Unless you’re actually published by an Amazon imprint, the rights are yours already. They don’t revert because Amazon doesn’t have them.

        • Dorothy Grant

          I strongly recommend you get The Copyright Handbook from Nolo Press. That will give you a basic foundation in what you’re actually doing, and when and how to worry or not.

          Basic answer: Amazon is a vendor, not a rights holder. You didn’t “sell your book” to Amazon, you licensed them to distribute your intellectual property. So if they are in breach of contract by failing to pay or exist, you still hold the rights, and can license them elsewhere.

  2. According to this, Big Five publishers are pretty much getting their butts kicked by those upstart indie types, and it is getting worse. I loved the part about where all those missing coloring book sales went. They went to indies.

    I’d be fascinated to see a breakdown of Sad Puppy vs Big Five Grey Goo by sub-genre. That would be a difficult thing to parse, but revealing no doubt.

    • That seems to be how things are going. There just seem to be more options for well… everything, in going Indie. I doubt that an actual story book with do-it-your-self illumination style coloring book would fly too well with trad publishing. Might work in Indie.

  3. It also seems that price is a major factor. Many indies are $5 and under for an e-book, where the big 5 are $10+. That’s helping us too, IMHO.

  4. mrsizer

    A friend recently loaned me a hardcover. First one I’ve read since buying my Kindle (three years ago?). What a horrid format. It won’t stay open to the page you are reading, so it requires a hand on it at all times. I can eat and read my Kindle; not so much hardcover — and any fingerprints don’t wipe off the pages.

    E-books are the way to go, which means Indie or crazy prices.

    Speaking of which, after getting Sarah’s latest craftsy, imagine my joy at finding not one but four new Wine books in the Also Read section. Bookstores just don’t have that. (Now to find the time to read five books.)