No more than 40 self-published authors “make money” via Kindle, according to a report in the New York Times on 7th February this year. Selling more than one million e-book copies in the last five years qualifies you to make this claim. I’m surprised 40 authors have managed that. Here are some quick notes about the topic.
Last year, a third of the 100 best-selling Kindle books were self-published titles. That figure is averaged out for each week. The digital market is huge - there are 4 million titles today in the Kindle Store, compared with 600,000 six years ago. Standing out in such a crowd is crucial and very difficult to do.
Some ground-breaking solutions come from the successful self-published authors such as Meredith Wild, Bella Andre, Barbara Freethy, H.M.Ward, C.J.Lyons. They have struck deals with Ingram Content Group, a major book printer and distributor, thus getting their novels in bookstores, big-box stores and airports.
It seems there are two publishing worlds out there running in parallel. One is the traditional trail and the other is driven by Amazon with books priced at a much lower level.
The majority of authors earn a figure that is well below the poverty line. The statistics are grim:
Overall, the median writing-related income among respondents dropped from $10,500 in 2009 to $8,000 in 2014, a decline of 24%. That’s way below the poverty line! Most authors depend on another job to survive.
So if you’re not selling your books, take heart, you’re not the only one. If you’re considering becoming a writer, think twice, because it won’t make you rich.
Meredith Wild’s story is fully reported in the New York Times, here, and well worth a read.