Independent Writers owe a great deal to the team at author earnings.com. When the publishing industry is busy talking down e-books and e-book sales, telling us they have plateaued or are even dropping, here is the truth from solid research.
Take a look.
Seems to me e-book sales are still strong and the research only covers amazon sales!
For those of you in a hurry here is the meat of their latest research:
During that same period in 2015, Amazon’s overall ebook sales have continued to grow in both unit and dollar terms, fueled by a strong shift in consumer ebook purchasing behavior away from traditionally-published ebooks and toward indie-published- and Amazon-imprint-published ebooks.
These “non-traditionally-published” books now make up nearly 60% of all Kindle ebooks purchased in the US, and take in 40% of all consumer dollars spent on those ebooks.
Traditional publishers and publishing industry pundits are claiming that the broader US ebook market has now flattened, or is even shrinking.
But at the same time, the largest ebook store in world is telling the Wall Street Journal that the exact opposite is happening:
“Amazon says e-book sales in its Kindle store—which encompasses a host of titles that aren’t published by the five major houses—are up in 2015 in both units and revenue.”
So which is it?
Indie ebooks without ISBNs have grown from 30% of all Kindle ebooks purchased in January 2015 to now account for 37% of all Kindle ebooks being purchased in September.
When indie ebooks that do have ISBNs are included, then indie self-published books, which made up 36% of all Kindle ebooks purchased in February 2014, now make up 42% of all Kindle ebooks being purchased on Amazon right now.
Unfortunately, we didn’t also go back and retroactively check each book in the 4 earlier 2014 datasets to see which of them had ISBNs. Had we done so, it would have beautifully charted the rapid rise of the untracked ebook “shadow industry,” right alongside the rapid decline in market share held by traditionally-published ebooks.
But right now, as of September 2015:
“Nontraditionally-published” ebooks from indie self-publishers and Amazon publishing imprints make up 58% of all Kindle ebooks purchased in the US.
Traditionally-published ebooks make up 42% of Kindle ebooks purchased in the US.
When the AAP reports “declining ebook sales”, they are describing the shrinking portion of the US ebook market held by their 1200 participating traditional publishers, whose share of the broader US ebook market has fallen in the last 18 months from 46% of all Kindle ebook purchases to less than 32%.
This dramatic market share shift has not gone entirely unnoticed in traditional-publishing circles. In July, influential industry veteran Mike Shatzkin observed that:
“Ebook sales for big publishers may be declining but they’re being replaced by indie sales at lower prices (their USP) at Amazon.”
Way to go Indies!
And thank you guys for your research.