You have to see the evidence yourself to believe it. When you do, you’ll feel proud to be an indie author and if you don’t already have ebooks published, you’re going to want to get moving on that.
In its 7K Report, AuthorEarnings.com provide the most detailed information on ebook sales, I’ve ever seen. The report is long and my post only touches on some of the highlights.
Genre fiction (mystery / thriller /suspense, sci-fi/fantasy, and romance — we’ll refer to them as “Genre Fiction”) is the place to be. According to the report, of the top 2500 bestselling Genre Fiction on Amazon, 86% of those are ebooks, 7% paperback, 4% hardcover, 2% audio books, and 1% mass market paperback.
And when it comes to selling these Genre Fiction ebooks, indie published authors collectively are selling more ebooks on a daily basis than the Big Five do (39% vs. 34% — and when you add in one-off single authors, that number jumps to 43%).
On a daily gross sales amount, the Big Five takes in 52% of the revenue compared to 24% taken by indie published authors. But, that number is a bit deceiving since the Big Five typically charge more for their titles than us indie authors do. When you look at the daily revenue paid out to the authors for Fiction Genre ebooks, indie authors and uncategorized single-author publishers are earning 49% of all revenue from sales of Genre Fiction ebooks on Amazon.
The most amazing part of the 7K Report is indie authors and single-author publishers (combined for purposes of the information below) earn more per year than their traditionally published counterparts of ebook Genre Fiction in almost every earnings bracket:
Number of authors who earn $10,000 per year selling Genre Fiction ebooks: 800+ indie authors compared to 400+ traditionally published authors. At $25,000 in earnings per year, it’s 450+ indies compared to 290+ traditionally published. At $50,000 in earnings per year, 350+ indies compared to 190+ traditionally published authors. Even at $100,000 per year, indie ebook authors of Genre Fiction are still earning more than their traditionally published counterparts – 150+ compared to 90+. It’s not until earnings get to $500,000 a year, do the traditionally published authors take a slight lead in revenue.
Posted in ebook publishing, indie authors to watch | Leave a comment
Last week while shopping at Whole Foods, I stumbled upon what turns out to be the best chocolate chip granola I’ve ever had made by Jessica’s Natural Foods. Last night after dinner, I was enjoying several handfuls and reading the packaging. It was obvious that Jessica’s was a small company that got shot at Whole Foods (at least in Minneapolis, it’s the only place that carries the brand). I saw Jessica just like I would an independently published author — someone who has a great product (book) and is out there competing against the big boys (traditional publishers).
I love it when a reader takes the time to write me and let me know how much they enjoyed my book, The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. And, anytime someone posts about my book, it helps sales. So, I posted on my Facebook wall how much I loved this granola. A bunch of friends commented and liked the post. If someone takes time to post about how much they like a brand of granola (and they have no connection to the company), you know that person has some strong feelings.
After posting on Facebook, I went to the company’s website and sent an email via the contact form. About two minutes later, I got a response from Jessica herself thanking me for taking the time to write and asking me if she could put my comments on her website. I agreed. I received another email from Jessica a few minutes later thanking me for that and offering to send me a few bags of the chocolate chip granola I love so much.
So, what are the takeaways from this? I thought it was cool that Jessica took the time to write me personally (I also like that her company is that small, so that kind of stuff is possible). That is part of why Jessica’s is and will continue to be successful. The other part is that Jessica gets that a few bags of granola is going to turn a guy with 500 Facebook friends into a brand preacher. That’s some grassroots marketing. Cheap and effective.
How does this apply to authors? I always reply personally to every email that comes through my site and this attached blog. Since the fifth edition of my book just came out, I’m still getting emails from people who just read the fourth edition. I send every one of them a free copy of the new edition. It’s my two bags of granola.
Posted in book marketing | Tagged book marketing, chocolate chip granola, jessica's natural foods | Leave a comment
If you own domain names, you may have seen emails from “Paul Harris” and “Kelly Smith” asking “Do you want to grow your business? Do you have serious, defined sales goals?”
Of course I do, so I responded to Paul, Allie and Kelly immediately through all of the email addresses below:
I’m pretty sure that “Paul”, “Allie” and “Kelly” are with the same “SEO” firm that employed “Ivan Ballard” and “Stella Fair” and “Ramon Elliot.” If you don’t remember them, check out my posts When Does Email Marketing Become Spam? and Spamalot Starring an SEO Firm Near You.
The problem is that when I respond and tell Paul and Kelly how I need their help to grow my business, I get no response (as of yet). This is why I’m confident that my email address has been blacklisted by the folks behind “Paul” and “Kelly.”
I’m posting this in the hopes that someone out there has played along and gotten a response, so we can figure out whose behind this.
This is one of the most annoying parts of owning a portfolio of domains.
2/5/14 UPDATE: At least two new members of the spam team has emerged:
John Wilson at the following email addresses firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org. ”John’s” email states, “Want more clients and customers? We will help them find you by putting you on the 1st page of Google. Email us back to get a full proposal.”
And, Steve Davies at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. ”Steve’s” message is, “We can increase rankings of your website in search engines. Please reply back for more details.”
I respond, but I think they’re on to me. So, blogosphere folks out there, if you can identify who is behind this, please comment here.
2/13/14 UPDATE: As these new spam addresses come in, I will continue to post them in this original post. I’m pretty sure the same company is behind last year’s group of spammers, but I think they’ve flagged domains owned by my company. I keep responding hoping to get an email, but I don’t. So, please let’s help identify who is behind Steve, John, Allie and Kelly.
2/25/14 UPDATE: Donna Gabriel and Stella Fair are back!!! They have these new and exciting email addresses:
“Donna Gabriel” (she’s a real busy girl with all of her email addresses)
Stella Fair (she’s busy, but with less email addresses — maybe she is still using some of her old ones too)
UPDATE 2/27/14: In the past 24 hours I’ve received 63 emails (collectively) from Kelly Smith, Donna Gabriel, John Wilson, and a new guy “Davis Moore.” All spam, of course. With such subject lines as:
- “Want more clients and customers? We will help them find you by putting you on the 1st page of Google. Email us back to get a full proposal.” (Kelly Smith and John Wilson)
- “Do you want to grow your business? Do you have serious, defined sales goals? Reply back to get a full proposal.” (Donna Gabriel)
- “We can increase rankings of your website in search engines. Please reply back for more details.” (Davis Moore)
Problem is that I can’t get them to email me back, since they know I’m already on to them. So, if you’re reading this post and have received an email from them, please email them back. You will then get an email from a U.S. company trying to set up an appointment.
Here are some of the additional email addresses:
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I read a very interesting blog post, entitled “10 Things You May Not Know About Ebook Prices” on the ebook comparison site, Luzme.com. Luzme captured a significant amount of ebook price data, including pricing preferences for both US and UK ebook buyers.
In the US, the most popular price ranges was $1-$2, but the most revenue was earned by ebooks priced in the $9-$10 range. In the UK, ebooks didn’t sell well at all above £5 ($8.21 USD) and the most popular price range was under £1 ($1.64 USD).
Just as interesting was who the ebook buyer is (at least according to Luzme.com). There are avid readers who buy a lot of ebooks weekly and are looking for cheap books in the genres they read. Then there are the readers searching for a particular ebook, don’t buy many ebooks, and are not as price conscious if they immediately can get the ebook version of the book they want.
Posted in ebook publishing | Tagged ebook prices, ebook pricing, how to set the price of an ebook | Leave a comment
The fifth edition of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing was released three days ago (January 7th). This edition was a major overhaul of the structure of the book. I needed to do this for several reasons, the most important being that because large portions of my reviews of the 25 companies included so much about their service offerings, some of these reviews became dated very quickly. Companies change their publishing packages, fees, etc. often. Others go out of business.
So, if you’ve read any of the other editions of this book, the lengthy reviews of each company are gone. They’ve been replaced with more head-to-head comparisons (in easy-to-read charts) on the following:
- eBook royalties
- Book printing costs
- Print royalties
- Return policies for author files
Each of these charts have footnotes that that direct you to the actual place on the publisher’s website and/or contract where the particular term, pricing, or policy is detailed.
There are other new editions to the book as well. I have an entire section on ebook publishing, conversion, distribution and royalties. Plus, a section on book marketing, where I use a lot of examples of various marketing techniques we’ve used for books that we’ve worked on.
So, take a peek and let me know what you think.
Posted in self publishing | 1 Comment
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