Amazon is the fifth most visited website in the United States, according to Alexa (an Amazon-owned company)—and Amazon’s book sales are growing.
Amazon’s book sales grew 46 percent in the first half of 2017, while ebook sales increased six percent. One Click Retail estimates that Amazon’s print book sales amounted to $4.7 billion in 2016, while ebook sales were $1.4 billion.
The highest performing book category in 2016 on Amazon was children’s books, largely due to the success of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. However, the next top performing print book category on Amazon was religion and spirituality, which saw a 55 percent year-on-year growth in sales in the first half of 2016 and 2017.
Experts estimate that Amazon holds 70 percent of the ebook market share and that self-published books make up about 40 percent of ebook unit sales on Amazon. Self-published titles are believed to account for about 60 percent of Kindle Unlimited reads.
Mega-conglomerate Amazon is not going anywhere. The company continues to grow and expand its holdings. Authors and publishers take note.
1. You can’t ignore this giant bookstore.
Due to Amazon’s size, it has monopoly power in the book-selling world. This means that Amazon gets to dictate the terms they want to play by without having to negotiation with or collaborate with other players in the field. Sometimes this puts authors and publishers at a disadvantage, especially with Amazon now allowing third-party sellers to be featured as the primary “Buy Button” for new books.
Some authors have tried to bypass Amazon as a statement against this mega power. Yet, doing so can lead to a decrease in book sales. The bottom line is that Amazon holds a large portion of the book-selling market. Amazon’s share of all new book print book unit purchase is over 40 percent. If you want to sell a lot of books, your books should be available for purchase through Amazon.
2. Religion books are one of the top growth sectors for books on Amazon.
I find this news extremely encouraging. Clearly, people are hungry for spiritual knowledge. As Christian authors and publishers, your books are answering a need. The growth of religious book sales on Amazon means that there is a market for your Christian book. Knowing which key words your target audience is likely to use in searching for books can improve your sales on Amazon. Just add these important key words to your book’s description (metadata) on Amazon to help drive more sales.
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Photo courtesy of Visualhunt.com.