Indie self-published books:
And then at the top of the graph, in various shades of blue, we have indie self-published books. For simplicity, in this series of charts, we’ve included uncategorized single-author-publishers (who are basically all unconfirmed, low-selling indies) in the indie category.
In 2015, we began tracking in our reports which indie books had ISBNs. And which didn’t — and therefore were part of the no-ISBN publishing “shadow industry,” a burgeoning market sector that remains completely invisible to Nielsen, Bowker, the AAP, or any of the other traditional providers of publishing-industry statistics.
The 2015 market share of “shadow industry” indie ebooks is shown in midnight blue at the top of the latter 3 bars of the chart, while ISBN-bearing indie ebooks are shown in a lighter shade of blue right beneath. Together, they reveal a jaw-dropping fact.
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.
So what’s happening? Basically, the jump in traditionally published ebook prices is strangling that end of the market. I highly recommend reading the whole report.