January 2015 Author Earnings Report



Here is an interesting post on some crunchy numbers regarding author earnings in a report that came out January 2015. Check out the full report for information beyond this snippet.

What I find interesting is that this report gives some pro-indie and some pro-traditional information. Keep in mind that all the below stats have to do with ebooks and not the entire book market.

This post originally appeared on the Author Earnings site on 1/28/15.


Executive Summary
AuthorEarnings reports analyze detailed title-level data on 33% of all daily ebook sales in the U.S.

30% of the ebooks being purchased in the U.S. do not use ISBN numbers and are invisible to the industry’s official market surveys and reports; all the ISBN-based estimates of market share reported by Bowker, AAP, BISG, and Nielsen are wildly wrong.

33% of all paid ebook unit sales on Amazon.com are indie self-published ebooks.

20% of all consumer dollars spent on ebooks on Amazon.com are being spent on indie self-published ebooks.

40% of all dollars earned by authors from ebooks on Amazon.com are earned by indie self-published ebooks.

In mid-year 2014, indie-published authors as a cohort began taking home the lion’s share (40%) of all ebook author earnings generated on Amazon.com while authors published by all of the Big Five publishers combined slipped into second place at 35%.


Full Report
U.S. ebook sales have plateaued—or are even declining, relative to print—declare some widely-cited industry statistics. Publishing pundits opine that readers’ Kindles are all “full” now and talk about the “glut” of ebooks. News articles imply that consumers are abandoning ebooks and are returning to print books, and then those articles speculate about whether ebooks were “just a fad.” Other pundits assert that indie authors will no longer be able to compete with the Big Five traditional publishers, now that those publishers have begun to price some of their ebooks lower.

Lots of speculation. Lots of flawed studies based on 2008 methodologies. Lots of inaccurate statistics. And very few facts.


All credit and rights of the above material belong to AuthorEarnings. Quoted material represents only a snippet; full post can be seen on their website.

11 thoughts on “January 2015 Author Earnings Report

  1. Being a mom, it is so much easier to read off of my tablet, for various reasons. Whatever medium you choose, as long as you are able to enjoy the story, it shouldn’t matter how you read it. I don’t eat pizza like every other person in the world, but I still enjoy it nonetheless. Thank you for this post!


  2. A ‘glut’ of ebooks? What do they think – that books are like zucchini? What is really needed are more intelligent and committed book reviewers to point people towards the books they want to read. I believe that the major problem isn’t so much the ‘glut’ (because there can NEVER be too many books) but the poor classification of the genres of these books. If you are looking for a humorous read, and you don’t want a gorefest, that needs to be spelled out. People purchase books using inaccurate or misleading blurbs and reviews,and are disappointed when they don’t get what was written on the box.

    On a side note, I wish that authors wouldn’t go crazy and list every genre that might relate to their book. It might seem like a good marketing strategy, but a disappointed reader won’t be recommending the author to anyone. Ebooks need word-of-mouth to be successful. Targeting your correct audience is working smarter.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I should have been more clear lol. I was thinking more in terms as a reader.

        For example I have several Tom Clancy books in ebook and paperback. Heck, I have ‘Without Remorse’ in ebook, paperback and hardcover. lol


  3. This was an interesting read. So true about not a lot of facts out there. I hardly doubt e-books will be going away anytime soon. It provides so many opportunities for people who are unable to go the “normal” publishing route.


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