The Current State of Book Sales

Are ebook sales growing? Are indie published book sales growing? What percentage of print books are purchased on Amazon?

These are questions I hear a lot. Fortunately, the people over at Author Earnings do a great job of putting out reports that reflect not only what is happening in the overall book purchasing market, but also the market for indie published books.

Author Earnings most recent report covers book sales for the last three quarters of 2017. I am going to summarize a few of the salient points here. If you want to read the entire report, you can do so on the Author Earnings website.

Bookscan captures between 70 to 80 percent of all hardcover and paperback book purchases in the United States (both physical and online purchases). Author Earnings only looks at online book purchases. Here are some of their findings.

  • Over half of all print books are purchased online. In 2017, 45.5% of all print book were purchased through Amazon. Did you catch that? Almost half of all print books alone are sold through Amazon. Amazon is a giant in the world of book sales!
  • The Indie share of the book market continues to grow, especially in the ebook realm. Indie published titles made up 28% (284 out of the top 1,000) of the top selling ebook authors in the United States.
  • The sweet spot for pricing an ebook is still $2.99 to $4.99. eBooks in this price range sold the most units on Amazon.

One of the big takeaways from Author Earnings most recent report was the highlighting of how vastly different the top selling genres for print and ebooks are.

eBook sales are largely fiction. Romance readers largely purchase digital books—90% of all romance purchases are ebooks. Science Fiction & Fantasy readers also prefer the digital format—75% of all this category is now ebook and audio. However, Children’s books are still largely print purchases, as are Poetry (82%) and Drama & Plays (85%).

According to Author Earnings, the top 10 Print and eBook genres in 2017 were:

Indie publishing is truly becoming mainstream. Of course, this means more competition for all authors as the number of books published continues to grow. The Author Earnings reports is full great information that you can use to both effectively price and position your books for more sales.

Related Posts:
Sales of Indie Books Continue to Grow
Are You Considering Publishing a Book?
Global eBook Sales are Within Your Reach

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