Top Earnings of Genre Books

14 Mar



Hugh Howey wrote a fantastic report about author earnings. He explains: “Sports stars, musicians, actors— their salaries are often discussed. This is less true for authors, and it creates unrealistic expectations for those who pursue writing as a career.  Now with every writer needing to choose between self-publishing and submitting to traditional publishers, the decision gets even more difficult. Online Book Retailers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble don’t share their e-book sales figures.”
How Bestsellers are “Made”
We wrote several times in our former blogs about book statistics by Nielsen, who are counting only books from bookstore chains, large independent bookstore, mass markets – but not from online retailers, such as Amazon. We also explained how New York Times Bestsellers are “made
“ResultSource, a San Diego-based marketing consultancy, specializes in getting books onto bestseller lists, according to The Wall Street Journal. For clients willing to pay enough, it will even guarantee a No. 1 spot. It does this by taking bulk sales and breaking them up into more organic-looking individual purchases, defeating safeguards that are supposed to make it impossible to “buy” bestseller status.” Read the whole Forbes article by Jeff Bercovici.
The 7K Report
Hugh Howey has lots of statistics on his elaborate blog
He is friends with an author who has advanced coding skills and who had created a software program that can crawl online bestseller lists and work with fast amounts of data. All of this data is public—it’s online for anyone to see—but until now it has been extremely difficult to gather, aggregate, and organize it.

Excerpts of Statistics and Findings on Hugh Howey’s Report:
“The bestseller lists used were Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy, and Romance. It turns out that 86% of the top 2,500 genre fiction bestsellers in the overall Amazon store are e-books. At the top of the charts, the dominance of e-books is even more extreme. 92% of the Top-100 best-selling books in these genres are e-books! Indie and small-publisher titles dominate the bestselling genres on Amazon. Indie authors are earning nearly half the total author revenue from genre fiction sales on Amazon.”

“Self-publishing is not a gold rush. It isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. There are no short cuts, just a lot of effort and a lot of luck. Those who do well often work ludicrous hours in order to publish several books a year. They do this while working day jobs until they no longer need day jobs. This is also true of the writers earning hundreds or even thousands a month. However, authors are claiming to making more money now with self-publishing than they made in decades with traditional publishers, often with the same books. Read the whole report on author earnings at Hugh Howey’s blog.”

More Resources:,134236.0.html




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1 Comment

Posted by on March 14, 2014 in Marketing, Self-Publishing


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

One response to “Top Earnings of Genre Books

  1. guyportman

    March 15, 2014 at 4:32 am

    A fascinating and revealing report. Thanks for sharing!


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