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Indie Authors are Alive and Thriving!

(Sarah asked me to cross-post this to the MGC from my blog today. You’re not seeing double if you read both!)

Author Earnings is back! I’ve been spending a few moments this morning trying to geek out over the new and improved dataset – it’s the bomb, it really is! – while helping kids get ready for school. I’m seriously excited over this report, which has been nine months in the making. If you’re an author, whether hybrid, indie, or traditional, you should be looking at this data if you’re interested in marketing your work. I know, I know, I’m such a geek.

But for me the ultimate reward of reading through it was finding this and confirming my own suspicions that the frequent blog and news articles predicting the death of Indie were oh, so, wrong...

So was self-publishing losing ground or gaining market share in 2017?

Throughout 2017, a frequent meme circulating in indie author loops was that self-publishing was hitting headwinds, and that self-published sales had slowed dramatically for “everyone.” Even the biggest indie stars of yesteryear were no longer pulling down what they used to, so times must be even tougher for everyone else.

A quick glance at the pie charts above reveal a different story. The indie share of the entire US ebook market, comprising the various blue wedges in the pies above, now looks like what the indie share of Amazon alone used to be, in our quarterly snapshots from previous years. In other words, far from losing ground, the overall indie market share has grown.

So why have we been hearing so many prominent indie pioneers telling newer authors and aspirants that “things are tough all over” now? Why are so many of them saying “indie publishing isn’t what it used to be”?

When we dug deeper, the data led us to a pretty simple answer, which we’ll circle back to at the end of the report.

So perhaps it was inevitable that, now that we’re 7 or 8 years into the era of viable self-publishing, many of these early pioneers are hitting their sophmore slumps. And telling their large author followings that indie publishing is no longer what it used to be, and that “nobody” is making money anymore.

The data proves them wrong.

What it shows instead is a changing of the author guard.

But the newest superstars of Indie, Inc., who have replaced the indie pioneers in the top rankings, are in general a quieter bunch than their predecessors were. They spend far less time evangelizing self-publishing, or giving advice to large groups of authors. And why would they? Indie publishing has gone mainstream.

Read More Here…

And if you’re wondering where my books fall into the categories? I’m an Indie Author who owns her own publishing imprint. You can find my work here on Amazon.

  1. Draven #

    am too seeing double!
    am too seeing double!

    January 23, 2018
  2. c4c

    January 23, 2018
  3. That the big “trad-pub e-book spike” was mostly e-textbooks is rather interesting. So much for the “indies are going away” mantra based on the 2016 data.

    January 23, 2018
    • Wishful thinking… I wonder how that’s going to fare if folk start putting out their research in the indie world rather than the trad textbook world.

      January 23, 2018
      • This is already happening, but if you look at things like PLOS, and the ‘omics journals, they are not held in high esteem by the academic world – I know this because at least one professor told us in class not to use them for our research.

        January 23, 2018
        • Zsuzsa #

          Really? Is this just PLoS ONE or all the PLoS journals? In my field, at least, PLoS Computational Biology is considered one of if not the top journal in the field.

          January 23, 2018
          • I was going on what my professor told us in Molecular Biology. He didn’t want to see a PloS paper.

            January 24, 2018
    • Starting with the most recent (2016, I think) edition of a relative’s textbook, the publisher made the decision to go e-textbook only.

      January 23, 2018
  4. Ursula K. Leguin has passed away.

    January 23, 2018
    • Draven #


      January 23, 2018
    • That’s sad news, indeed. I was surprised how young (88) she was, given how long ago her parents were born. I thought she had to be pushing a hundred.

      January 23, 2018

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