1,340 authors earning $100,000/year or more. Half of Them Are Indies.


We had to share the following figures and statements from AuthorEarnings.com. The figures below and summary is from their May 2016 report. There is some incredible facts and insights in there. We have pulled out some of those that surprised us the most and the data that is most relevant to indie authors. That’s what they term self-published. The key takeaway is more self-published authors are earning over 100,000 than traditionally published and small publishers. INCREDIBLE! We wouldn’t believe it either but the data proves this. 


1,340 authors are earning $100,000/year or more from Amazon sales. But half of them are indies and Amazon-imprint authors. The majority of the remainder? They come from traditional publishing’s longest-tenured “old guard.” – AuthorEarnings.com

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Source: authorearnings.com

Fewer than 115 Big Five-published authors and 45 small- or medium-publisher authors who debuted in the past five years are currently earning $100K/year from Amazon sales. Among indie authors of the same tenure, more than 425 of them are now at a six-figure run rate. – authorearnings.com

The fact above is incredible and reinforces our stance that you don’t need to secure a traditional publisher. It is not the guarantee of success many authors believe it to be. Even if after all the strife you finally secure a traditional publishing deal there are indie authors who self-published and are earning more than you.

There are twice as many indie authors who debuted in the past 5 years now earning a six figure run rate than Big Five authors who were first published in the same time period and are able to do the same. – authorearnings.com

Okay you say clearly if I self-publish I can outsell many traditionally published authors digitally. They must be making up the shortfall through all those print sales. WRONG. The chart below shows that even with a very generous 2X multiple applied (taking their digital sales and multiplying by 2 to cover potential print sales) Indie authors are still coming out on top. The 2 columns on the right are key.

2x multiple

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