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...
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.
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.