Thursday, May 7, 2015

Self-Publishing on the Rampage

Take a gander at this Author's Earning Report: It's a mind-blower.

Big 5 Amazon bestsellers fell 26% in the last quarter. At the same time, self-published ebooks shot up to 44%. Those are insane numbers--not wholly expected by anyone! Ebooks account for 1/4 of  of all the Amazon bestseller lists combined. A quarter! Major publishers have 14% of those lists. 

Take a look at the graphs and line charts. They're very revealing and more than likely very accurate. 

The Big ebook unit sales have plummeted another 18%. This seems to have resulted, or is a direct cause of the return to agency pricing. Sales are drastically impacted for the Big legacy publishers. Self-published authors are squeezing into and taking over that lost market share, with an increase in daily revenue of 12.4% as of Jan 2015. This whole agency ball of wax has meant decreased sales for authors, lofty prices for consumers and lower sales for publishers. This gap has been filled by self-published authors. This happened because many campaigned for publishers, so they could get their way. The Big 5, it appears, made a foolish and unexpected blunder.

Declining publishers resulted in 20 cents profit on each dollar, as opposed to 52.5 cents on ebooks. Author earings were 8-15 cents per dollar verses 17.5 cents for eboooks. At these higher ebook prices, the large and medium sized publishers are responsible for a lesser amount of books that get read and sold for the authors. The number of books on the bestseller lists spiraled downward 26%. No new fans were eager to pick up the rest of a series or even the next standalone title by the most popular bestselling authors.

It's now very evident that pricing control is astoundingly powerful The A-List publishers and the biggest retailers are in a squabble and fight for this power. Authors who like to have complete control over their pricing, avoiding the entanglements of the huge publishers and retailers, are given a very clear message:
SELF-PUBLISHERS WILL CONTINUE TO TAKE MARKET SHARE FROM THOSE FRUSTRATED READERS. They'll do this every quarter, with basically no constraints or competition. Self-published authors will have, and do have complete control over their careers.

Summation: Greed is doing in the Big Five and all those big independents who followed in raising their prices to fit their bloated needs. The average Big Five ebook is around $10, while the self-published authors have titles ranging from $3 to $3.50. Quality, bestsellers, coupled with high prices does not guarantee increased sales. Could it be that the huge publishers feel vastly superior over all other publishers and publishing methods? Kind of looks that way, doesn't it? 

I've only self-published one title myself. With this kind of Author Earnings Report news, I'm going to self-publish all my out-of-print back-list titles for a start. I also have some new stuff that deserves to hit Amazon, and I found a trustworthy publishing service that can handle any phase of the task. Their team resumes are more than impressive. 

I'm a complete dolt when it comes to editing, proofreading, formatting and creating cover art. You might check them out and see what I mean. Any author thinking of self-publishing at this time or in the future would be wise to read their website and then shoot them an email.

New Standard Publishing Group:

Take care. And take all the money you deserve for your hard work.