Bad news for anyone who thought they were going to be the next EL James: As it turns out, half of self-published are making less than $500 a year off their books. Now, the numbers are skewed a little bit higher for the first comprehensive study ever done on the subject, with the average pull-in for self-publishers at $10,000. But that’s only because–much like in the rest of America– 10% of the market was bringing home enormous figures, leaving the other 90% with very low sums…and half with less than a grand a year for their work.
And we think we know why.
Thanks to Amazon Digital Services, almost any yahoo can write a book and put it online, charging only 99 cents and hoping the price is low enough to attract enough buyers. But as we scrolled through some of the more ridiculous titles in Kindle’s library–all of which were either published by ADL or through a self-publishing company– we noted that almost all of these titles could be purchased for free, via The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and Amazon Prime: Services that work like a digital library and let you get these books for free for a month. (If you turn off your WiFi, you can actually keep them as long as you want.)
Kindle does not pay authors to give their books out for free, the idea being that the exposure is its own form of free publicity.
Just something to think about next time you sign up with Amazon to self-publish your erotic Twilight fan-fiction.