Ebooks have been a boon to independent authors, providing a path to audiences, unmatched in the history of publishing. The field is rather new, and currently there is not even Wikipedia page Independent author.

If possible what is the number of Independent authors who published English language works in 2013, and what was the average incoming from those 2013 works?

1 Answer 1


Statista (The Statistics Portal) looks like it has some relevant ebooks revenue information (though not exactly what you are looking for). Unfortunately, you are forced to sign up for a premium account to access most of the reports. A sample report that they actually show you some of the information for is here (Global e-book revenue from 2009 to 2016*, by region (in million U.S. dollars), obviously some is projection).

I did manage to find an informal survey done by Marie Force about independent publishers here (covers total unit sales broken down between 2010, 2011, 2012 and some of 2013) . Here is an excerpt:

The conversation on the loop led to me post an informal survey to get an idea of how our members and their self-publishing friends are really doing. I didn't ask people to give dollar amounts, but rather just their number of sales in 2010, 2011, 2012 and so far in 2013. I asked them to list their most successful book in 2012 and how many copies it sold. At the outset, I want to say that this survey was informal. There is nothing scientific about it, but it does provide an interesting snapshot of how self-published authors are really doing.

To give context to the numbers, I wanted to also provide a guide to what the most popular price points translate to in actual dollars. Using Amazon's conversion chart, here it is:

0.99 (35 percent royalty): $0.35 per sale
1.99 (35 percent royalty): $0.70 per sale
2.99 (70 percent royalty): $2.04 per sale
3.99 (70 percent royalty): $2.74 per sale
4.99 (70 percent royalty): $3.44 per sale

While I didn't ask authors to list their most common price point (which I will add to the survey next time), I thought the breakdown above would be enlightening to the authors out there who might be waffling about whether they ought to try their hand at self-publishing. If you are thinking about whether or not you should dip your toe into the revolutionary waters, ask yourself these questions: When was the last time I made $3.44 on the sale of one book? When was the last time I made even $2.04 on the sale of one book?

She then goes on to post a bunch of survey results broken down by author. Here is a sample of one of the survey results:

Elisabeth Naughton
Romantic Suspense and Paranormal
Total number of self-published titles: 12
Total number of self-published sales in 2010: 0
Total number of self-published sales in 2011: 0
Total number of self-published sales in 2012: 102,179
Total number of self-published sales so far in 2013: Jan-March 2013: 370,059
Most successful book in 2012 and how many sold: MARKED - 30,673 copies

I've been traditionally published for four years and my income comes primarily from my self-published titles, NOT my traditionally published titles.


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