If you’ve ever thought of dipping a toe in the waters of publishing, this is a must-read report.
It’s very data heavy and is incredibly revealing about what’s going on behind the curtains of self-publishing. (The server hosting the site crashed shortly after its launch this morning, it was that popular.)
The main lessons: self-publishing (often called independent publishing) is for real.
The chart was created by author Hugh Howey and another independent author who created a crawler of Amazon data for the top 7,000 genre bestsellers and sorted it by price, publisher, and more.
It shows, pretty conclusively, that at the upper bounds of publishing, you can do just as well or better self-publishing than you can with a traditional publisher. And when it comes to genre books, ebooks are where it’s at.
I would note several caveats to this post: it’s only a study of Amazon, a lot of the numbers are estimates based on sales rank which could be off (not a lot, but a bit), and it’s just a survey of bestsellers. But still. It’s a fascinating set of data, and the first I’ve seen like it.
It’s a good reminder that with all the opportunities in publishing right now, there is no by default wrong way to publish. Sometimes a traditional deal makes sense, sometimes it doesn’t. We’ve known this anecdotally for awhile now. But this report gives data behind it.
The world of publishing is much wider than a lot of people thought.
Erik is a self-published author, with several fiction and non-fiction titles. He is a co-owner of Side x Side which helps businesses and nonprofits enter the world of publishing and share their story with a wider audience.