Self-Publishing News: 2.5.2019

February concept. stationery and notebook, business background

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!

In past weeks, we’ve revealed some rather … mixed … information on the state of self-publishing, with some researchers arguing that sales are way up, and others insisting that actually they were completely terrible. In the interest of covering all of our bases and ensuring equal coverage for all concerned, here’s an article from Books + Publishing this week covering Amazon’s newly released sales figures. The most pertinent details? Writes the article author:

For books, authors earned more than US$260 million (A$359m) from the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select Global Fund in 2018, totalling more than US$840m (A$1.16bn) since the launch of Kindle Unlimited. Amazon said, ‘hundreds of thousands of authors have self-published millions of books through KDP since launching the service in 2007’. Amazon said that ‘thousands’ of authors earned more than US$50,000 (A$69,000) from KDP royalties in 2018, and more than 1000 authors earned over US$100,000 (A$138,000).

Good news for Amazon, obviously, but how reliable are these figures? And how do they compare to other indie publishers and self-publishing companies? We’ll have to wait for comparative reports, it would seem.

More industry coverage comes from the Locus magazine for science fiction and fantasy, one of our favorites of the genres. This article ties into the report we mentioned last week in our Self Publishing News section, and provides further insights, specifically calling out the report for including zero-earnings authors who may not yet have published or not published recently, or who have not made self-publishing a dedicated part of their lives. Says the article,

It’s hard to tell how meaningful the data is, since the 5,000 respondents (drawn from the Authors Guild membership and nearly 20 other organizations and self-publishing platforms) are not necessarily a complete cross-section of the writing community. Fully a quarter of those surveyed reported receiving zero income from books or writing-related activities in 2017, which does tend to drag aggregate numbers down. Counting only those writers who actually made book-related income in 2017 (63% of those surveyed), the median income was over $20,000, and average income was over $43,000. A total of 38% of respondents also earned writing- related income apart from book royalties or advances, mostly from events and appearance fees, freelance journalism, and teaching writing. Given the increasing numbers of self-published authors and “hybrid” authors who self- publish and use traditional publishing too, one inarguable conclusion is that more authors are being paid – at least a little – than ever before.

Accounting for the zero-earnings authors provides a much rosier outlook than the naysayers previously have given, and tempers the worst of the emotions swirling around the Author Earnings report.


As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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One thought on “Self-Publishing News: 2.5.2019

  1. Hi,

    I’m based in Sydney and with twenty-one books on Amazon KDP select, I am certainly one of the 1000.

    Amazon said that ‘thousands’ of authors earned more than US$50,000 (A$69,000) from KDP royalties in 2018, and more than 1000 authors earned over US$100,000 (A$138,000).

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