It used to be that publishing an ebook could be an effective branding or marketing effort. It could establish you as an expert in your field, help you market other products or services, and perhaps get you more clients or speaking engagements.
But now ebooks are becoming a viable business of their own. Even very small publishers are getting in on the action.
In fact, the author’s advocacy group Author Earnings recently reported that self-published ebooks now account for 31 percent of daily ebook sales on Amazon.
The graph above shows the percentage of daily sales for independently published ebooks compared to those from other types of publishers. As you can see, ebooks from the “Big Five” publishers still make up more sales than those from independent authors. But self-published authors are gaining ground in the industry.
The same study in April 2014 found that 30 percent of ebook sales came from self-published authors. And in February 2014 just 27 percent of sales came from self-published authors.
So for independent authors and entrepreneurs, this data is very encouraging. In an industry that was once dominated by just a few large publishers, it’s now much easier to break in and get your writing in the hands of readers. And not only that. It seems to be blossoming into a viable business model.
The Author Earnings report explains:
“It bears putting a number here and stressing what we are seeing: Self-published authors are now earning nearly 40% of all ebook royalties on the Kindle store. The days of looking at self-publishing as a last option are long gone. A lot has changed in six months.”
It used to be that authors looking to publish books would have to write endless submissions to publishers with little hope of ever getting even a chance to publish.
Now, independent authors make up a big portion of book sales on one of the largest online retailers in the world – and their share of the market is only getting bigger.