interested in stats relating to independent authors, and I recently
came across a summary of the 2012 Taleist survey of self-published
authors in a blog entitled Publishing a Book Is an Adventure.
Here are some of the stats I found most interesting:
Less than 10% of those surveyed reported making enough money to live from their earnings. More than half the respondents earned less than $500, and a quarter of them did not recoup their initial investment.
Of those who were able to make a living from their writing, two-thirds are women who spent 69% more time writing than those outside the top earners' group.
Thirty-two per cent of the top earners tried and failed to get a traditional publishing deal before self-publishing. Those authors who went straight to self-publication without submitting their work to a traditional publisher earned 2.5 times more than those who submitted it and were rejected.
Those who spent the least time marketing made the most money. (Which makes sense when you consider that time spent marketing is time spent away from writing.)
Top earners had four times as many reviews for their most recent book than authors outside this group. One of the most effective tactics—submitting books to Amazon top reviewers—resulted in 25% more reviews.
Finally, romance writers earned more than science fiction, fantasy, and literary fiction writers.
These statistics indicate that (if anyone actually thought this) self-publishing is obviously not the road to riches. However, I found one of the most encouraging statistics to be that 90% of those surveyed said they would continue to self-publish. This, to me, suggests that the ability to reach an audience is more important to indie authors than the money aspect. Of course, in an ideal world, an author could have both...
For a summary of the survey results, see http://www.epublishabook.com/2012/05/28/self-publishing-statistics-women-fare-better-than-men-at-making-money-from-self-publishing/#ixzz2Pc7nR7Ae.
For the Taleist survey, see http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0085M7KIU/ref.
To access the list of Amazon top reviewers, see http://www.amazon.com/review/top-reviewers. (A caveat: many aren't responding to inquiries because of backlogs.)
To access the list of Kindle top reviewers, see http://www.thekindlebookreview.net/get-reviewed/. (Note that you can only contact ONE reviewer at a time, and many are not currently accepting requests because of backlogs.)