Those who follow my blog know that I’m always interested in the data released by Hugh Howey and others through his Author Earnings Reports. Howey’s research began nearly two years ago, and with each report he uncovers a little more to better reflect what’s happening with Amazon sales to indie and traditionally published authors.
In his latest report, Howey notes that he’s uncovered plenty of info that hasn’t shown up in earlier data. This time, he and his team have gone beyond Amazon’s bestsellers list to collect data. They’ve scoured the also-bought recommendations and authors’ complete catalogs. Howey states that this resulted in a million-title dataset that allowed his team to look at the earnings of a wide range of authors.
As is normal for Author Earnings reports, Howey also incorporates detailed charts about the ebook market share. In the past, the reports have focused on ebook sales, but this report takes things to a whole new level by including hardcover, paperback and audio sales on Amazon (note that the study still doesn’t include sales from other platforms).
Rather than repeat all of his results, I encourage you to read the report here. It’s detailed but easy to understand and the charts really help visual learners. But I will share Howey’s summary because I believe it to be true. Based on his research, it is certainly possible to earn $50,000+ a year from fiction writing without ever sending out a single query letter to a traditional publisher. A growing number of indie writers are doing just that.
As Howey says, these are indeed exciting times! Oh, and one eye-opening hint, literary fiction isn’t doing as poorly as some might think!