Tonight’s discussion was with the anonymous Data Guy, curator for the famous (or perhaps infamous!) Author Earnings Report. If you haven’t been by the site, make sure to visit and check out some of the reports (you can also grab the raw data if you’re a data person!).
Here are some of the questions we asked Data Guy:
- What exactly is the Author Earnings Report, and how do you get your information?
- How are you able to look at a book’s Amazon sales ranking and figure out how many books are selling each day?
- How are indie authors doing compared to small press, Amazon imprints, and traditionally published authors?
- Which genres are indie authors doing best in?
- What’s the reception been from the industry? Has Amazon stepped forward to confirm or deny the accuracy of your reports?
- Does the data show that authors need to release frequently (i.e. every few months) to stay on the radar and continue selling well?
- Are there any correlations between basic stats and overall income? i.e. total number of books, number in series, number of reviews, etc.
- How is sales ranking figured? Is it true that it takes more sales to make it to a certain ranking than it does to stick once you get there? How are past sales weighed in to the current ranking?
- How does Kindle Unlimited play into your rankings and income reports?
- What do you think is the best route for authors starting out today?
Some recent reports from Author Earnings:
- February 2016 Author Earnings Report: Amazon’s Ebook, Print, and Audio Sales
- October 2015 – Apple, B&N, Kobo, and Google: a look at the rest of the ebook market
- Individual author earnings tracked across 7 quarters, Feb. 2014 – Sept. 2015