The State of Self-Publishing in 2018: Is It the Right Time to Self-Publish a Book?

Are you still on the fence about self-publishing your book on Amazon? Maybe you’ve heard that you can’t really make any money doing it, or are convinced that you don’t have what it takes to become a self-published author.

Is it a Good Time to Publish a Book?

Is it a Good Time to Publish a Book?

Well, I’m going to do all I can to dispel those misconceptions today.

The new Author Earnings report is out for 2018, and the statistics are mind blowing. I’ll break them down below, and show you why it’s the perfect time to launch your self-publishing career.

How Many Books Were Sold in 2017?

Since April of 2017, a lot of self-published authors sold their books to the millions of customers on Amazon. Here’s a breakdown (keep in mind that the authors of this study say these figures only represent about 90 percent of all sales):

  • ·         There were about 1.3 billion eBook sales made on the mega site.
  • ·         Audiobooks are huge and the numbers show it. Since April of 2017, there have been $490 million in audiobook sales.
  • ·         Don’t believe it when you hear that paperback and hardcover sales are dead. During the same time period, Amazon sold $3.1 billion in print books.

Which Types of Books are Selling?

It’s not enough to know that millions of books are selling, you also have to understand which types of books are selling in order to plan your publishing career strategically. Here is a breakdown of which books sold the most in the same time period.

  • ·         The majority of the print sales came from textbooks and children’s books, and adult nonfiction makes up the bulk of the remaining print sales.
  • ·         Seventy percent of online sales for nonfiction and adult fiction were made as eBooks and audiobooks.

The report breaks things even more as it takes a look at which genres are selling in which format:

  • ·         If you write romance books, know that 90 percent of sales are made in eBook format.
  • ·         Science fiction and fantasy buyers are buying eBooks and audiobooks 75 percent of the time.
  • ·         Poetry writers do better selling print books as 82 percent of buyers want a paperback or hardcover.
  • ·         Writers of dramas and plays sell their books in print form 85 percent of the time.

And here are the top ten eBook bestselling genres for the period:

1.       Literature and Fiction

2.       Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense

3.       Romance

4.       Science Fiction and Fantasy

5.       Business and Money

6.       Religion and Spirituality

7.       Teen and Young Adult

8.       Biographies and Memoirs

9.       Health, Fitness, and Dieting

10.   History

Here the top ten audiobook genres:

1.       Literature and Fiction

2.       Fiction and Literature

3.       Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense

4.       Science Fiction and Fantasy

5.       Romance

6.       Biographies and Memoirs

7.       Children’s Books

8.       Business and Money

9.       Fantasy

10.   Mysteries and Thrillers

And finally, here are the top ten bestselling genres in print:

1.       Textbooks

2.       Children’s books

3.       Business and Money

4.       Literature and Fiction

5.       Science and Math

6.       Medical books

7.       Specialty Boutique

8.       Heath, Fitness, and Dieting

9.       Art and Photography

10.   Politics and Social Sciences

Which Months are Best for Selling Books?

Here’s the biggest surprise of the study. It seems that for eBooks and audiobooks, there isn’t much of a difference in book sales broken down by month. In fact, even though it’s commonly thought that December is the best time to sell books, that’s not true for these 2 formats.

Book buyers make eBook and audiobook purchases all year round and there are no significant spikes for any month.

On the other hand, print book sales do fluctuate, with August being the highest in sales, followed by September, October, December, and November.

This has huge implications for the timing of your release. In the past, authors would time their digital releases with buying trends, but it seems that now, any time of the year is a good time for an eBook release.

What’s the Bests Price Point for Selling Books?

There were some surprises in this year’s report for ideal price points when selling eBooks. The highest sales occur for books that are priced between $9 and $9.99. Next, books that are priced between $3 and $3.99 sold the most, followed by books that are priced between $14 and $14.99.

If you’re going to pre-release an eBook, $4.99 seems to be the sweet spot.

Is Indie Publishing Dead?

There has been a lot of talk about how Indie publishing is on the downswing because many of the well-known Indie authors aren’t making as much as they used to. But this report shows that in fact, the opposite is true. Without giving specific numbers out of respect for the authors, the report says that today’s bestselling authors are making even more than their predecessors.

The reason for the panic of some in the Indie publishing world is that a lot of the “old guard”—those bestselling authors of the past—aren’t making as much as they used to because they were replaced by newer, unheard of authors this year. So the people who relied on their sales as an indicator of Indie sales weren’t taking into account the new authors—and that’s how the rumors of declining sales came into being.

So don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t make money selling books on Amazon. The truth is, it’s possible to make more money than ever selling books on Amazon!

Well, that’s it for this post, but I’ll break down the numbers even more soon.

I hope you’re continuing to pursue your dream as a self-published author, because according to the latest numbers, the timing is perfect!