About three weeks ago, I posted a blog called “A Financial Reality Check for Writers” which discussed a survey about the poor earnings many authors receive for their work. The survey prompted a fair bit of discussion about whether the authors questioned were a true reflection of the whole writing community. Some claimed that most of those surveyed were beginning writers, therefore the meager earnings was expected.
This week I found that bestselling indie author Hugh Howey has launched a brand new site called Author Earnings, for the purpose of gathering and sharing information about earnings and bookselling so that writers can make informed decisions. Howey will be taking regular snapshots of sales in the industry, using not only Amazon’s stats, but information from BookScan. BookScan gathers stats from traditional book publishers brick-and-mortar stores. A piece in The Bookseller provides a good overview of what Howey’s done so far and what he hopes to accomplish. Also, Howey provides some detailed findings called What Writers Leave on the Table.
What’s exciting about this new site is that Howey’s is not just looking at e-books, but at print, audio, and other platforms. He’ll also be conducting regular surveys and looking at a much broader spectrum of authors and publishers than in previous studies. He’s even provided a way for authors to take part through the petition button on the Author Earnings website.
Some of the findings that have stood out for him so far is that 90% of Amazon’s book sales come from e-books. Also, in the mystery/thriller, fantasy/sci fi, and romance categories, indie authors are now outselling the Big Five publishers. Who would have thought that five years ago? Anyhow, I signed up today to receive Author Earnings newsletters. I can’t wait to see what else this interesting site turns up.