This is a very interesting post by mega-selling author Hugh Howie on the latest author earnings report:
When we pulled the data for the latest Author Earnings report, we expected to see continued price increases from the Big 5, as several publishers have moved to agency pricing, and Amazon is no longer allowed to discount these titles. We also expected to see the widely reported drop in ebook sales from the Big 5, as they have reported year-on-year declines. But we weren't expecting to see THIS BIG of a drop.
The number of Big 5 titles showing up on Amazon bestseller lists fell 26% in the last quarter. Meanwhile, the number of self-published ebooks appearing on these lists shot up 44%. That's insane. Over a quarter of the ebooks listed on every Amazon bestseller list combined are now indie ebooks.A quarter! 14% of the ebooks on those lists come from major publishers.
This is a simple counting of the titles there, and how they were published. And it's an undercounting of indie titles, as we don't have the time to track down all the uncategorized small press ebooks. The true disparity is much greater.
Something I point out in this report: Industry veterans have long looked to bestseller lists in order to gauge the market, to see what's selling, who is selling it, and which publishing houses were ruling the roost. You still see this today, as industry sites discuss the percentage of books by each publisher on weekly lists. They are looking at a dozen or so titles. We're looking at 120,000 at a time. And a simple counting reveals a massive shift in reader behavior. They prefer lower priced ebooks. Also: ebooks are not on the decline or plateauing. At least, not for self-published authors.